Abdalá Bucaram

Abdalá Jaime Bucaram Ortiz (/ɑːbdəˈlɑː bʊkəˈrɑːm/ (listen) ahb-də-LAH buu-kə-RAHM; Arabic: عبد الله بوكرم; born 20 February 1952) is an Ecuadorian politician and lawyer who was President of Ecuador from 10 August 1996 to 6 February 1997.[1] As President, Abdalá Bucaram was nicknamed "El Loco Que Ama" ("The Madman Lover", a nickname he championed)[2] and was removed from office after being declared mentally unfit to rule by the National Congress of Ecuador on 12 February 1997. He lived in exile in Panama under political asylum laws, then returned to Ecuador in 2017 when the charges against him expired.

Abdalá Bucaram
عبد الله بوكرم
Bucaram foto.png
38th President of Ecuador
In office
10 August 1996 – 6 February 1997
Vice PresidentRosalía Arteaga
Preceded bySixto Durán Ballén
Succeeded byRosalía Arteaga
Mayor of Guayaquil
In office
10 August 1984 – September 1985
Preceded byBolívar Cali Bajaña
Succeeded byJorge Norero González
Personal details
Abdalá Jaime Bucaram Ortiz

(1952-02-20) 20 February 1952 (age 71)
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Political partyEcuadorian Roldosist Party (1983–2014)
Fuerza Ecuador (2017–2021)
María Rosa Pulley Vergara
(m. 1977)
Alma materUniversity of Guayaquil

Family political backgroundEdit

Born in Guayaquil, Bucaram is the son of Jacobo Bucaram Elmhalin (1920–1967), the son of Lebanese immigrants, and Rina Ortiz Caicedo (1926-1982).[3] He grew up playing football in the streets of Guayaquil and later went on to become a successful athlete and earn a degree in physical education. He was also a hurdler. He was the flag bearer for Ecuador at the 1972 Summer Olympics but did not compete in the Games due to injury.[4] He was the police chief of Guayas and the president of Barcelona Sporting Club, a football team from his hometown.[5] While being a gym teacher, he earned a law degree and soon began his political career. He used to live in Kennedy Norte, a neighborhood next to the José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport before he left for Panama after the deposition of his government.[6]

Bucaram was the nephew of the politician Assad Bucaram, who was the mayor of Guayaquil. His sister, Martha Bucaram, was married to former President Jaime Roldós Aguilera, both of whom were killed in a mysterious air crash.[7]

Early political yearsEdit

He was the mayor of Guayaquil, and the founder and member of the Ecuadorian Roldosist Party (PRE). He then competed for the presidency of the Republic in 1988 and 1992 before succeeding in the 1996 run.

1996 presidential campaignEdit

Bucaram defeated Social Christian Party (PSC) candidate Jaime Nebot by winning in all but one of the 21 provinces. He was the first elected president to do so.

Time as presidentEdit

Bucaram was president from 10 August 1996 to 6 February 1997. His cabinet was put together by Vice President Rosalia Arteaga. Within months, Bucaram was accused of embezzling millions of dollars of public funds.[8] He has been called a "messianic personality and unconventional that attracted criticism from his critics and the media" by a Turkish media site.[9]


In February 1997, Bucaram was impeached by the National Congress because of concerns about his capacity to act in the office of the presidency.[1]

Life after impeachmentEdit

Bucaram received political asylum in Panama after several corruption charges were laid against him.[10] He returned on Saturday, 2 April 2005, after the corruption charges were lifted the previous day. He stayed in Guayaquil for about two and a half weeks. The corruption charges against him was reinstated after Lucio Gutiérrez was forced to leave to avoid the charges.

On 1 December 2014, Bucaram's son Abdalá "Dalo" Bucarám Jr. renounced his seat in the Ecuadorian National Assembly.[11]

On 4 June 2020, Attorney General Diana Salazar Méndez announced that a stock of 5,000 masks and 2,000 COVID-19 tests had been found at Bucaram's residence preventing their use in combatting a large outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.[12][13]

He was accused of several crimes including stealing from the Central Bank and Customs and mismanaging the COVID-19 pandemic and barred from entering the United States.[8] After he took office, Bucaram tried to reorganize the state which led to a culture of bribery and favoritism.[9][14]

In August 2020, Bucaram was arrested and released at his home in Guayaquil as part of an organized crime investigation.[15][16] The investigation centered on the murder of an Israeli citizen, Tomer Sheinman (also known as Shy Dahan), a few days earlier in the Guayaquil jail.[16] Bucaram was implicated because an audio conversation between Bucaram and the murdered Sheinman (Dahan) was found.[17] Sheinman (Dahan) was involved in trading medical supplies with Bucaram's son, Jacobo.[18]

On 9 March 2022, the United States announced that Bucaram "due to his involvement in significant corruption, including misappropriation of public funds, accepting bribes, and interfering with public processes" would be barred from entering the country.[19]


  1. ^ a b "Abdalá Bucaram". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Loco vs Bobo". 22 November 2000. Archived from the original on 18 September 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  3. ^ "FamilySearch: Sign In". ident.familysearch.org. Archived from the original on 26 April 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  4. ^ Sports Reference
  5. ^ Abdalá Bucaram Ortiz Archived 2006-12-21 at the Wayback Machine (Spanish)
  6. ^ Abdalá Bucaram: "Agradezco a mis tres presidentes" Archived 12 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "FamilySearch: Sign In". ident.familysearch.org. Archived from the original on 26 April 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  8. ^ a b "¿Por qué Estados Unidos le prohíbe la entrada a Abdalá Bucaram y su familia?: Estos fueron los casos de corrupción durante el mandato del expresidente que solo duró 6 meses" [Why did the United States prohibit Abdala Bucaram and his family from entering? These are the corruption cases during the rule of the expresident that only lasted six months]. Qué Noticias (in Spanish). 9 March 2022. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  9. ^ a b "Quién es Abdalá Bucaram, el expresidente ecuatoriano detenido por delincuencia organizada". www.aa.com.tr. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  10. ^ "¿Quién es Adbalá Bucaram y por qué regresará a Ecuador tras 20 años de exilio?". CNN (in Spanish). 27 April 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  11. ^ Zamora, Paúl (1 December 2014). "Dalo Bucaram renunció a la Asamblea". El Comercio. Archived from the original on 27 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  12. ^ "En casa de expresidente Abdalá Bucaram se encontraron 5.000 mascarillas y otros insumos". El Telégrafo (in Spanish). 3 June 2020. Archived from the original on 29 June 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  13. ^ Alarcón, Daniel (7 March 2022). "A Pandemic Tragedy in Guayaquil". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 11 March 2022. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  14. ^ Admin, Codigo Vidrio (23 August 2020). "Los bailes y piruetas de Bucaram con el poder". Código Vidrio (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  15. ^ "Ex-Ecuadorian President Detained in New Criminal Probe". VOA. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  16. ^ a b "Expresidente de Ecuador Abdalá Bucaram es detenido para investigaciones". CNN (in Spanish). 12 August 2020. Archived from the original on 13 August 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  17. ^ "In the middle of a fraud and now murder scandal, Abdalá Bucaram announces his candidacy for President". The Cuenca Dispatch. 10 August 2020. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  18. ^ "Israelí asesinado dijo que conocía a Sonnenholzner y dos ministros más". La República (in Spanish). 11 August 2020. Archived from the original on 21 August 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Designation of Former Ecuadorian President Bucaram for Involvement in Significant Corruption". Archived from the original on 9 March 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2022.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Bolívar Cali Bajaña
Mayor of Guayaquil
Succeeded by
Jorge Norero
Preceded by President of Ecuador
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
New creation
Supreme Director of the Ecuadorian Roldosist Party
Succeeded by
María Rosa Pulley
Preceded by
María Rosa Pulley
Supreme Director of the Ecuadorian Roldosist Party
Succeeded by