Log In

Rodrigo Rivera Salazar Edit Profile

Colombia Ambassador to Belgium

A lawyer, and journalist by trade, Rivera served in the Congress first as a Member of the Chamber of Representatives for two terms from 1990 to 1998,and then as Senator of Colombia for two terms from 1998 to 2006,when he retired from Congress to run, ultimately unsuccessfully, for the 2006 Liberal presidential nomination.


In 2007, in his first break from politics, he attended the Washington College of Law as a Humphrey Fellow, specializing in Economic Development and Human Rights.


Fresh out of College, he was elected Councilman to the Pereira City Council at the age of 20 and served on it until 1989, during this time he also worked as Professor of Constitutional Law at his alma mater, the Free University of Pereira, and wrote as a columnist for the nationally syndicated newspaper of El Espectador, and the local newspaper La Tarde. In 1997 he was recognized by the Junior Chamber International as an Outstanding Young Persons of the World for his work as President of the Chamber of Representatives during the impeachment trial against President Ernesto Samper Pizano. In 2003 he was elected President of the Colombia Liberal Party Directorate.

Upon his return to Colombia in 2009, Rivera supported the controversial proposal for a third presidential term for President Álvaro Uribe Vélez, an action that led him to step down from the ranks of the Liberal Party and join the Social Party of National Unity or "Party of the U" to more openly support Uribe. When it was announced that Uribe would not run for re-election because of the ruling passed down by Constitutional Court of Colombia, Rivera threw his support behind Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, Uribe's Minister of Defence and presidential nominee for the Party of the U, becoming the Political Manager of Santo's campaign.

When Santos won the Colombian presidential election, 2010, he named Rivera Minister of National Defence on 28 July 2010,pending his inauguration into office, and when this took place on 7 August 2010, Rivera was sworn in as the new Minister of National Defence.


  • book

    • Rivera Salazar, Rodrigo (2001). Hacia Un Nuevo Federalismo Para Colombia [Towards a New Federalism in Colombia] (in Spanish). Bogotá: La Oveja Negra.

    • Rivera Salazar, Rodrigo (2004). Colombia Fragmentada: El Siguiente Paso: Un Nuevo Consenso Por Lo Social [Colombia Fragmented: The Next Step: A New Social Consensus] (in Spanish). Bogotá: La Oveja Negra.


Juan Manuel Santos Calderón

Carlos Holmes Trujillo García