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Alberto Lleras Camargo (3 July 1906 – 4 January 1990) was the 20th President of Colombia (1958–1962), and the 1st Secretary General of the Organization of American States (1948–1954). A journalist and liberal party politician, he also served as Minister of Government, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and as Minister of National Education in the administrations of President Alfonso López Pumarejo.[1] He briefly attended the National University of Colombia in Bogotá to study politics, but dropped out later to pursue journalism.

Alberto Lleras Camargo
Alberto Lleras Camargo, Presidente da Colômbia.tif
20th President of Colombia
In office
7 August 1958 (1958-08-07) – 7 August 1962 (1962-08-07)
Preceded byGustavo Rojas Pinilla
Succeeded byGuillermo León Valencia Muñóz
1st Secretary General of the Organization of American States
In office
30 April 1948 (1948-04-30) – 1 August 1954 (1954-08-01)
Succeeded byCarlos Dávila
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia
In office
12 February 1945 (1945-02-12) – 2 August 1945 (1945-08-02)
PresidentAlfonso López Pumarejo
Preceded byDarío Echandía Olaya
Succeeded byFrancisco Umaña Bernal
Minister of Government of Colombia
In office
8 October 1943 (1943-10-08) – 12 February 1945 (1945-02-12)
PresidentAlfonso López Pumarejo
Preceded byDarío Echandía Olaya
Succeeded byAntonio Rocha Alvira
In office
27 February 1937 (1937-02-27) – 7 August 1938 (1938-08-07)
PresidentAlfonso López Pumarejo
Preceded byDarío Echandía Olaya
Succeeded byCarlos Lozano y Lozano
In office
10 October 1935 (1935-10-10) – 12 January 1937 (1937-01-12)
PresidentAlfonso López Pumarejo
Preceded byDarío Echandía Olaya
Succeeded byDarío Echandía Olaya
3rd Colombia Ambassador to the United States
In office
6 May 1943 (1943-05-06) – 8 October 1943 (1943-10-08)
PresidentAlfonso López Pumarejo
Preceded byGabriel Turbay Abunader
Succeeded byGabriel Turbay Abunader
11th Minister of National Education of Colombia
In office
28 January 1937 (1937-01-28) – 27 February 1937 (1937-02-27)
PresidentAlfonso López Pumarejo
Preceded byDarío Echandía Olaya
Succeeded byTulio Enrique Tascón Pérez
Personal details
Born
Alberto Lleras Camargo

(1906-07-03)3 July 1906
Bogotá, D.C., Colombia
Died4 January 1990(1990-01-04) (aged 83)
Bogotá, D.C., Colombia
NationalityColombian
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Bertha Puga Martínez (1931–1990)
Children
  • Alberto Lleras Puga
  • Ximena Lleras Puga
  • Marcela Lleras Puga
  • Consuelo Lleras Puga
Alma materDel Rosario University

Lleras Camargo served as congressman of Colombia.[2] He was also a cousin of later president Carlos Lleras Restrepo. He died in 1990 after suffering a long illness.[3]

Early Political Career and First PresidencyEdit

He attended the traditional Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario. In 1929, he was elected deputy assemblyman on the Bogotá city council, his first entrance into politics. The following year he became Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Colombian Liberal Party and in 1931, he was elected to the Colombian Chamber of Representatives. That same year, he became the first Liberal to preside over the Chamber in more than forty years.

After Alfonso López Pumarejo was elected President of Colombia in 1934, Lleras Camargo was named Cabinet Secretary. In 1935, he became the Minister of Government, a position he occupied until the end of López Pumarejo’s presidential term in 1938. In 1938, he founded the newspaper El Liberal, which promoted López Pumarejo’s re-election. In 1941, he returned to and once again presided over the Chamber of Representatives. When López Pumarejo was re-elected president in 1942, he once again named Lleras Camargo the Minister of Government. Aside from a brief interruption in 1943, when Lleras Camargo became the Colombian Ambassador to the United States, he occupied that position until 1944, when intense political instability disrupted López Pumarejo’s presidency. In July 1944, after López Pumarejo stepped down, Lleras Camargo fought off a coup attempt against Darío Echandía, who had been temporarily designated as president.

In 1945, he became Minister of Foreign Relations, and in that capacity, represented Colombia at the Chapultepec Conference and the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, which created the United Nations. But that same year, the Senate named designated him as Acting President, a position he occupied until 1946, when Conservative Mariano Ospina Pérez was elected president. At only thirty-nine years-old, he became one of the youngest Acting Presidents in Colombian history. During his short year in office, the Greater Colombian Merchant Fleet was founded and the Constitutional Reform of 1945 completed.

Founding of the Organization of American StatesEdit

After leaving the presidency in 1946, Lleras Camargo founded the highly regarded news magazine Semana. Owing to the respect and prestige he had earned as Minister of Foreign Relations and President of Colombia, he was named Director of the Pan American Union in 1947. He launched a restructuring effort, which culminated in the founding the Organization of American States in 1948. Lleras Camargo served as the first General Secretary between 1948-1949 and later completed a full five-year term between 1950 and 1954. During his second term, the organization became more consolidated as a hemispheric organization, with increased continental participation.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Alberto Lleras Camargo. Un estadista para la Colombia del siglo XX". Actividad cultural del Banco de la República de Colombia. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Alberto Lleras Camargo". Así es Colombia. Presidencia de la República. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Alberto Lleras, Twice President In Colombia, 83". New York Times. 5 January 1990.
Political offices
Preceded by
Military Junta
President of Colombia
1958–1962
Succeeded by
Guillermo León Valencia Muñoz