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Laurentino "Nito" Cortizo Cohen (Spanish pronunciation: [lauɾenˈtino koɾˈtiso ˈko.en];born 30 January 1953) is a Panamanian politician who has served as President of Panama since 2019. Cortizo Cohen is the former President of the National Assembly[1] and Minister of Agricultural and Livestock Development. He was also a member of the National Assembly between 1994 and 2004, serving a year as chamber president.[2]

Laurentino Cortizo
Laurentino Cortizo (cropped).jpg
Laurentino "Nito" Cortizo
38th President of Panama
Assumed office
1 July 2019
Vice PresidentJose Gabriel Carrizo
Preceded byJuan Carlos Varela
Minister of Agricultural and Livestock Development
In office
1 December 2004 – 10 January 2006
PresidentMartín Torrijos
Preceded byJuan Carlos Varela[citation needed]
President of the National Assembly
In office
1 July 2000 – 1 July 2001
Preceded byEnrique Garrido
Succeeded byRubén Arosemena
Personal details
Born (1953-01-30) 30 January 1953 (age 66)
Panama City, Panama
Political partyDemocratic Revolutionary Party
Spouse(s)Yazmín Colón de Cortizo
Alma materNorwich University (B.B.A.)
University of Texas at Austin (M.B.A.)

A member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party, he was elected as President on 5 May 2019 winning 33.27% of the vote.[3] Cohen, a dual Panama/Israeli citizen, was the subject of some controversy among Panama's minority Jewish population after reports that he was hiding his Jewish heritage during the election. However, as antisemitism in Panama is widespread, most Jewish voters supported this.

Political careerEdit

Cohen served as a member of the National Assembly from 1994 to 2004.[4] He became President of the National Assembly in 2000, serving until 2001.[2]

He also served as Minister of Agricultural and Livestock Development under President Martin Torrijos, however he resigned in 2006 due to his objections to the negotiations made in pursuit of the US-Panama Free Trade Agreement.[4]


  1. ^ Sáez, Manuel Alcántara; Freidenberg, Flavia, eds. (2001). Partidos políticos de América Latina. Centroamérica, México y República Dominicana. Universidad de Salamanca. p. 561. ISBN 9788478008377.
  2. ^ a b PALABRAS LLANAS - 50 años de visión y Compromiso (1906-2006)
  3. ^ "Cortizo wins Panama election". 6 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Panama elections: Centrist Laurentino Cortizo declared winner". Retrieved 12 August 2019.

External linksEdit