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"Many people, many analysts say the transformation of Colombia has been an almost unprecedented example in the world for its depth and its speed" stated Juan Manuel Santos, the President of Colombia, during the tribute to the 100 most prominent Colombians abroad, on December 5, 2012, at Casa de Nariño, the Presidential Palace of Colombia.
The President considered the honorees as "the best witnesses of how Colombia has been improving in recent years, how Colombia is totally different and how the world sees us with eyes completely different from what we saw a few years ago."
Diego Urbina, SSP08 and MSS09, crew-member of Mars500 and both Italian and Colombian citizen, has been chosen with 99 other Colombians by fellows because they represent the talent, the creativity, the perseverance of Colombians abroad. Rodolfo Llinás (neuroscientist), Gabriel García Márquez (writer, Nobel Prize winner) and Shakira (musician, philantropist) were some of the other honorees. Their stories have been regrouped into a book, entitled "100 Colombianos" and their photos will also be displayed into public transportation places as well as the Colombian consulates and embassies around the world.
"I feel very humbled, having been put next to individuals who have done so much both for the world and for Colombia. I hope the things I learned at ISU and the work that they allowed me to do later, can serve in particular as an inspiration to the kids of the Country" declared Diego.
(photo credits "Presidence of Republic of Colombia")