Jorge Quiroga

Jorge Fernando Quiroga Ramírez (born 5 May 1960), often referred to as Tuto, is a Bolivian industrial engineer and politician who served as the 62nd president of Bolivia from 2001 to 2002. A former member of Nationalist Democratic Action, he previously served as the 36th vice president of Bolivia from 1997 to 2001 under Hugo Banzer and as minister of finance under Jaime Paz Zamora in 1992. During the interim government of Jeanine Áñez, he briefly served as the country's international delegate to denounce human rights violations from 2019 to 2020.

Jorge Quiroga
Jorge Quiroga in a studio portrait, invested with the symbols of command. Behind is a bust of Simón Bolívar.
Official portrait by Antonio Suárez, 2001
62nd President of Bolivia
In office
7 August 2001 – 6 August 2002
Acting: 1 July 2001 – 7 August 2001
Vice PresidentVacant
Preceded byHugo Banzer
Succeeded byGonzalo Sánchez de Lozada
36th Vice President of Bolivia
In office
6 August 1997 – 7 August 2001
PresidentHugo Banzer
Preceded byVíctor Hugo Cárdenas
Succeeded byCarlos Mesa
Minister of Finance
In office
17 March 1992 – 12 November 1992
PresidentJaime Paz Zamora
Preceded byDavid Blanco Zabala
Succeeded byJuan Pablo Zegarra
International delegate to denounce
human rights violations
In office
2 December 2019 – 8 January 2020
PresidentJeanine Áñez
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition dissolved
Personal details
Born
Jorge Fernando Quiroga Ramírez

(1960-05-05) 5 May 1960 (age 62)
Cochabamba, Bolivia
Political partyLibre 21 (2020–present)
Other political
affiliations
Nationalist Democratic Action (before 2005)
Social Democratic Power (2005–2009)
Christian Democratic Party (2014–2018)
Spouse(s)Virginia Gillum
Children
  • Vanesa
  • Cristina
  • Adriana
  • Cristian
Alma materTexas A&M University
St. Edward's University
Signature

Quiroga was a candidate in the 2005 and 2014 presidential elections, in which President Evo Morales was elected for a first and third term respectively. In both elections, Quiroga ran on the Christian Democratic Party ticket. In the 2020 presidential election, Quiroga ran as a candidate for the Libre21 coalition, but withdrew his candidacy on 11 October 2020 (seven days prior to the election) in an unsuccessful attempt to unify the Bolivian opposition and prevent the socialist MAS-IPSP candidate Luis Arce from emerging victorious.[1]

Background and early lifeEdit

Quiroga was born in Cochabamba. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1981 with a degree in industrial engineering, becoming the first head of state from that university.[2] He went on to work for IBM in Austin, Texas[2] while earning a master's degree in business administration from St. Edward's University. He and his American wife Virginia then moved back to Bolivia.[2] He has 4 children: Vanessa Elena, Cristina Andrea, Adriana Patricia and Jorge Cristian.

Vice President of Bolivia (1997–2001)Edit

Quiroga was Minister of Finance in 1992.[3] He was elected as Vice President of Bolivia in 1997 running on the Nationalist Democratic Action ticket with former dictator Hugo Banzer.[4] At 37, he was the youngest vice president in Bolivia's history.

President of Bolivia (2001–2002)Edit

He became President when Banzer resigned because of aggravated health problems (he died a year following his resignation). Quiroga assumed office as acting president on 1 July 2001 and was sworn-in on 7 August, to complete Banzer's five-year mandate.

Soon after becoming President he told a reporter from the New Yorker "We [Bolivia] will be the vital heart of South America.." believing that gas exports would lift the economy, that a long-anticipated transcontinental highway connecting Brazil to Chile would be built passing through the Bolivian city of Cochabamba, and that fibre-optic cables would soon be laid.[2] He blamed Bolivia’s lack of economic progress on hypocrisy on free trade in the United States and Europe, saying "Bolivia is the most open economy in Latin America. Meanwhile, American and European farm subsidies, along with tariffs on textiles and agricultural products, make it impossible for Bolivia to sell its exports in the Global North. They tell us to be competitive while tying our arms behind our backs."[2] When asked about the Bolivian Water Wars of 2000, he said “A lot of things certainly could have been different along the way, from a lot of different actors. The net effect is that we have a city today with no resolution to the water problem. In the end it will be necessary to bring in private investment to develop the water."[2]

Post-presidency (2002–present)Edit

Quiroga ran for President in his own right in the 2005 election, as the candidate for a new right-of-center coalition known as Social and Democratic Power (PODEMOS), which included the bulk of Banzer's former ADN organization. His main opponent was the leftist Evo Morales of the Movement Towards Socialism. Morales won the election and Quiroga finished a distant second place, receiving 28.6% of the vote.

He has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In 2002, he was honored in a tribute exhibit at his alma mater, Texas A&M University.[5] He is, as of November 2016, active in the private sector and many international organizations, among them: as Vice-President of Club de Madrid with almost 100 former heads of state and government; on the board of Results for Development-R4D in Washington D.C.; as a member of the Inter-American Dialogue and the International Advisory Council of the China Economic Club; and in different capacities on the Global Adaptation Institute, the Foro Iberoamericano and many others.[6] He has presided FUNDEMOS since 2002, a Bolivian public policy foundation. His areas of expertise are: management of international aid and cooperation for developing countries; macroeconomic policy; constitutional, legal and institutional reforms; private and official external debt restructuring and relief; programs to reduce drug trafficking and cocaine production; and broadly in Latin American public policy, trade, economics, finance and banking, integration, politics and development issues.[6]

He was appointed as vice president of the Club de Madrid in 2011.[7]

On 2 December 2019, the interim government of Jeanine Áñez appointed Quiroga as an international delegate on a special mission to denounce human rights violations by the ousted Morales administration.[8] He held the post for just over a month, before resigning on 8 January 2020 in order to announce his presidential candidacy for the snap elections to be held later that year.[9] Throughout the election cycle, he remained around sixth place reaching between 1 to 2% in opinion polling and never surpassing 7%. On 11 October, one week before the scheduled election, Quiroga announced he was dropping out of the presidential race. He indicated in his withdrawal announcement that he wished to prevent an outright victory of Luis Arce of the Movement for Socialism party in the first electoral round by consolidating the right around Carlos Mesa.[10]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "A una semana de las elecciones, Tuto Quiroga declina su candidatura a la presidencia". Los Tiempos. 11 October 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f William Finnegan (8 April 2002). "Leasing The Rain". The New Yorker. Retrieved on Feb. 15, 2007
  3. ^ "Globalisation and the reform of the Bolivian state, 1985-2005" (PDF). CORE.
  4. ^ "Vicepresidencia". www.vicepresidencia.gob.bo. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Tribute Exhibit". www.aggienetwork.com. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  6. ^ a b "President Jorge Quiroga | One Young World". www.oneyoungworld.com. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Tuto Quiroga elegido 'vice' del club de madrid". El Día. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  8. ^ Bolivia, Opinión. "Añez designa a Tuto como delegado internacional por los DDHH". Opinión Bolivia (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  9. ^ "Tuto renuncia al cargo de delegado presidencial ante instancias internacionales". Correo del Sur (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Quiroga, Ex-President of Bolivia, Drops Out of Race - Communal News". Retrieved 19 October 2020.

External linksEdit