Lleras Camargo

Lleras Camargo

[ye-rahs kah-mahr-gaw]
Lleras Camargo, Alberto, 1906-90, president of Colombia (1945-46, 1958-62). A journalist, he entered politics as a Liberal, occupying many important government posts in the 1930s and 1940s. After his first short stint as president (1945-46), he served as director of the Pan-American Union (1947-48) and as first secretary-general of the Organization of American States (1948-54). He was instrumental in unseating the dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1957) and was the chief architect of the constitutional amendment (approved Dec., 1957) that provided for bipartisan Liberal-Conservative rule for a period of 12 years (later extended to 16 years). This plan, almost unique in the politics of the hemisphere, ended 10 years of bloody political strife that had cost approximately 200,000 lives. It also enabled Lleras, as president (1958-62), to stabilize the economy.

Alberto Lleras Camargo (1906 – 1990) was an important Colombian diplomat and political figure.

He was a member of the Liberal Party of Colombia; he served as congressman (1931-1935), Minister of Education, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Foreign Affairs, during the governments of Alfonso López Pumarejo and Eduardo Santos. He served too as acting President of Colombia between 1945 and 1946. He then served as the first secretary general of the Organization of American States from 1948 to 1954. Finally, he served as President of Colombia between 1958 and 1962. During this later term, he founded the Colombian Institute for Agrarian Reform (INCORA), with the intention of implementing a needed degree of land reform in the country.

In 1931 he married Berta Puga, and together they had four children: Alberto, Ximena, Marcela and Consuelo Lleras Puga.

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