Luis Alberto Lacalle

Luis Alberto Lacalle de Herrera, GCMG (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwis alˈβeɾto laˈkaʎe ðe eˈreɾa]) (born 13 July 1941), is a Uruguayan lawyer and politician who served as President of Uruguay from 1990 to 1995.

Luis Alberto Lacalle
Luis Alberto Lacalle de Herrera (cropped).jpg
Luis Alberto Lacalle in 2014.
36th President of Uruguay
In office
March 1, 1990 – March 1, 1995
Vice PresidentGonzalo Aguirre
Preceded byJulio María Sanguinetti
Succeeded byJulio María Sanguinetti
Senator of Uruguay
In office
February 15, 2010 – February 15, 2015
In office
February 15, 1985 – February 15, 1990
Chairman of the National Party
In office
17 August 2009 – 8 January 2011
Preceded byCarlos Julio Pereyra
Succeeded byLuis Alberto Heber
In office
11 April 1999 – 13 July 2004
Preceded byAlberto Volonté
Succeeded byJorge Larrañaga
Representative of Uruguay
for Montevideo
In office
February 15, 1972 – June 27, 1973
Personal details
Luis Alberto Lacalle de Herrera

(1941-07-13) 13 July 1941 (age 79)
Montevideo, Uruguay
Political partyNational Party
(m. 1970)
RelationsLuis Alberto de Herrera (maternal grandfather)
Margarita Uriarte (maternal grandmother)
ParentsCarlos Lacalle (father)
Maria Hortensia de Herrera Uriarte (mother)
Alma materUniversity of the Republic


His mother, María Hortensia de Herrera de Lacalle, was the daughter of the White political leader Luis Alberto de Herrera, after whom Lacalle was named. Luis Alberto Lacalle joined the National Party at the age of 17. In 1961 he started working as a journalist for Clarín and he graduated from the University of the Republic's law school in 1964. In 1971, he was elected deputy for Montevideo and kept his seat until the 1973 coup, when President Juan María Bordaberry dissolved parliament.

Assassination attemptEdit

In August 1978 Lacalle was sent three bottles of wine tainted with poison [1] addressed to himself and two fellow National Party members (Heber and Pereyra) who had been trying to negotiate a way out of the military regime. Lacalle's wife warned him against the suspicious gift, but Heber's mother drank a glass, dying immediately. The case remains unsolved.[2]

Vice-President of SenateEdit

When democracy was restored in 1984 he was elected senator, and became vice-president of the Senate.

President of UruguayEdit

1989 electionEdit

In 1989 he ran for the presidency for his faction, Herrerismo, with running-mate Gonzalo Aguirre. In the subsequent elections in November 1989, the National Party defeated the rival Colorado Party (running with several presidential candidates: Jorge Batlle, Jorge Pacheco Areco and Hugo Fernández Faingold) and Broad Front (running with presidential candidate Líber Seregni). Lacalle received the most votes within his party, defeating Carlos Julio Pereyra and Alberto Zumarán, and thus was elected President of Uruguay, taking office on March 1, 1990 for a five-year term.


Upon taking office, Lacalle sent parliament a tax reform bill which was immediately passed with the support of the Colorado Party. Sales tax were increased from 21% to 22% [3] income tax was increased and a few other taxes were created. During his rule, he encouraged a free market program, participated in the Brady bonds plan to alleviate foreign debt obligations, and was a co-founder of the Mercosur, along with the presidents of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina, which came into effect with the Treaty of Asunción in 1991.

In 1992, support for his economic reforms suffered a heavy blow when one of his most significant initiatives, a plan to privatize Uruguay's state-owned companies, was rejected by referendum.[4]

In the 1994 national elections, he selected his Interior Minister, Juan Andrés Ramírez to be the presidential candidate of the Herrerismo faction. The National Party narrowly lost the elections to the Colorado Party.

Among several prominent politicians who took part in his government are Héctor Gros Espiell, Sergio Abreu, Juan Andrés Ramírez, Carlos Cat and Ignacio de Posadas.

Luis Alberto Lacalle at the 2011 Miami Book Fair International.

Later runs for the presidencyEdit

In 1999, he won his party's primary elections against Juan Andrés Ramírez (who had split from the Herrerismo) and several other candidates, and was a candidate for presidency again. However, a string of accusations about corruption in his government damaged his chances. Ramírez's departure from active politics after losing the primary was the final blow, and Lacalle came in third place with 22.3% of the votes in the general elections.

Lacalle ran again for president in the 2004 elections, but the other party leaders had gathered around a single opposing candidate, Jorge Larrañaga, who defeated him in the primaries by a 2-to-1 margin. In 2009, he ran for the presidency again, this time defeating Jorge Larrañaga in the June primaries. By winning the primary election, he became head of the governing board of the party. He lost the presidential elections to José Mujica in a run-off election in November.

Lacalle is a member of the Club de Madrid.[5] and he is member of the board of the Public Affairs Committee of the Jerusalem Summit.[6]


Lacalle is married to María Julia Pou Brito del Pino (born 1946); they have four children, Pilar Lacalle Pou, lawyer Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou, economist Juan José Lacalle Pou and Manuel Lacalle Pou. Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou was the 2014 presidential candidate of the National Party and once again in 2019. On both occasions, he entered the second round but in 2019 he won, and became president elect of Uruguay, for the 2020–2025 term.


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Former guerrilla and former president headed to runoff in Uruguay".
  2. ^ "Jueza solicitó pericias a las botellas de vino envenenado" (in Spanish).[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "La reforma tributaria, el debate ideologico" (in Spanish). 2008-08-21.
  4. ^ Charles Blake (1998). "Economic reform and democratization in Argentina and Uruguay". Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs. 40 (3): 1–26. doi:10.2307/166198. JSTOR 166198.
  5. ^ The Club de Madrid is an independent organization dedicated to strengthening democracy around the world by drawing on the unique experience and resources of its Members – 66 democratic former heads of state and government.
  6. ^ Jerusalem Summit: International Advisory Board: Public Affairs Committee (Accessed: 14 October 2008)
Political offices
Preceded by
Julio María Sanguinetti
President of Uruguay
Succeeded by
Julio María Sanguinetti