Demetrio B. Lakas

Demetrio Basilio Lakas Bahas (August 29, 1925 in Colón, Panama – November 2, 1999 in Panama City) was the 27th President of Panama from December 19, 1969 to October 11, 1978.

Demetrio B. Lakas
Demetrio B Lakas.jpg
27th President of Panama
In office
December 19, 19691 – October 11, 1978
Vice PresidentArturo Sucre (1972-1975)
Gerardo González Vernaza
Preceded byJosé María Pinilla2
Succeeded byAristides Royo
Personal details
Demetrio Basilio Lakas Bahas

(1925-08-29)August 29, 1925
Colón, Panama
DiedNovember 2, 1999(1999-11-02) (aged 74)
Panama City, Panama
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Fannia Roger de Lakas (m. 1959)[citation needed]
Children1 daughter, 2 sons
1 Lakas began his term in office as the Chairmen of the Provisional Junta of Government.
2 Fábrega was the military Chairmen of the Provisional Junta of Government.

Early life and educationEdit

The son of Greek immigrants, Lakas was born in Colón. Following his education in local schools, he graduated from Texas Tech University in 1963 and was honored as a distinguished alumnus in 1970.[1]


Lakas was popular among his fellow businessmen. After General Omar Torrijos survived a military coup against him on 18 December 1969, Torrijos named him president of the provisional government. Lakas' presidency was primarily during rule of military officer Omar Torrijos, and was marked by media censorship and suppression of opposition movements. He also negotiated the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaty that transferred control of the Panama Canal from the US to Panama.[2]


He died on 2 November 1999 in Panama City after succumbing to a heart disease.[3]


  1. ^ Programs Template
  2. ^ "Deaths Elsewhere". THe Washington Post.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). November 4, 1999. Archived from the original on April 7, 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  3. ^ Leonard, Thomas M. (18 November 2014). Historical Dictionary of Panama. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 175. ISBN 9780810878358.
Political offices
Preceded by
José María Pinilla
President of Panama
Succeeded by
Aristides Royo