BOGOTA – Retired Gen. Oscar Naranjo, selected “world’s best policeman” in 2010, was sworn in Thursday as Colombia’s vice president, a post in which he will support implementation of the peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas, work to protect the demobilized rebels, coordinate security issues and push the government’s anti-drug policy.
“Your presence in the vice presidency gives confidence to Colombians and gives confidence to me and all of us in government, who are ready to work with you on the crucial issues that I place in your hands today,” said President Juan Manuel Santos at Naranjo’s inauguration ceremony.
Naranjo, whose appointment was approved on Wednesday in Congress, replaces German Vargas Lleras, who left the vice presidency on March 14, presumably to launch his presidential campaign.
After emphasizing the long career of the new VP, with whom he worked during Naranjo’s five years as head of the police and later as minister adviser to the presidency for the post-conflict, human rights and security, Santos emphasized that the new VP’s presence in the negotiations that led to the peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels gave Colombians a “guarantee” and “tranquility.”
“Gen. Naranjo is a great police officer. He was recognized during his career as the world’s best police officer. But primarily he is a great human being, with deep democratic values and an immense will to serve the country,” Santos said.
The new vice president was head of the Colombian police from 2007-2012, a member of the government’s peace negotiating team in Havana and minister adviser to the presidency between January and November 2015.