No Small Tasks Lie Ahead
Roberto Junguito, Colombia's new finance minister, has his work cut out for him. He must deal with the country's budget
deficit, wage fiscal war on the guerillas and grow the
Roberto Junguito, a tall, angular man with the air of an
absent-minded professor, has one of the toughest jobs in Latin
America. As Colombia's new finance minister, Junguito, 59, must
restore the public finances to health, get the economy growing
again and pay for the government's war against the guerrilla
armies that control most of Colombia's interior and dominate
the drugs trade.
Junguito lacks the flair and political skills of his
predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, who helped salvage the
presidency of Andrés Pastrana by restoring a degree of
investor confidence and pushing ahead with fiscal retrenchment.
Instead, Junguito is a quintessential técnico who has
spent nearly his entire career in public service. After earning
economics degrees from Universidad de los Andes in
Bogotá and Princeton University, Junguito was
agriculture and finance minister in the 1980s, and then served
as ambassador to France and the European Union. He was a...
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