Mariano Fiallos Oyanguren

Mariano Fiallos Oyanguren (28 June 1933 – 25 June 2014) was a Nicaraguan judge and academic. He was rector of National Autonomous University of Nicaragua at León (UNAN-León) from 1974 to 1980 and President of the Supreme Electoral Council from 1984 to 1996, overseeing the country’s first democratic transfer of power in 1990.

Mariano Fiallos Oyanguren
Mariano Fiallos Oyanguren 2005.jpg
Fiallos in 2005
Born(1933-06-28)28 June 1933
Died25 June 2014(2014-06-25) (aged 80)
TitlePresident of the Supreme Electoral Council
Rector of National Autonomous University of Nicaragua at León
Political partySandinista National Liberation Front
RelativesRosario Fiallos Oyanguren [es] (sister)


Mariano Fiallos Oyanguren was born on 28 June 1933, in León, Nicaragua.[1] Fiallos’s father was Mariano Fiallos Gil [es] and his mother Soledad Oyanguren. He had four siblings, including writer Rosario Aguilar [es]. Fiallos Gil was a longtime university autonomy advocate and National Autonomous University of Nicaragua at León (UNAN-León) rector from 1957 to 1964,[1] winning university autonomy in 1958 under Anastasio Somoza García (and codified in the constitutional reforms of 1966).[1] After the student massacre of 23 June 1959, in which the Somocista Guard killed four students,[2] National Guard troops were not allowed physical access to the campus, including to enroll as students.[1]

Fiallos Oyanguren earned an LL.M. from Southern Methodist University in 1956, a law degree from UNAN in 1957 and a PhD from the University of Kansas in 1968. His dissertation was on "The Nicaraguan Political System."[1]

The university autonomy won by his father later facilitated Sandinista recruitment and organization of their primarily urban political cadre under the rectorships of Carlos Tünnerman (1964 to 1974) and Fiallos who became rector of UNAN-León, from 1974 to 1980.[1][3] Fiallos was elected rector in a competition with his friend, the philosopher and jurist Alejandro Serrano Caldera.[3] While at UNAN-León, Tünnerman was also a close friend of Fiallos and writer Sergio Ramírez was one of Fiallos’s law students in 1959.[3]

He was later appointed to the Higher Commission for University Education.[3]

In 1984 he became President of the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) for the Nicaraguan elections that year. He was reappointed in February 1985 for a six-year term.[1] Meanwhile, he served as a visiting professor at the University of Kansas in 1985.[1]

A member of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), in 1990 he organized the elections for and ultimately oversaw Nicaragua’s first peaceful transfer of power, as his party’s candidate, incumbent Daniel Ortega, lost to Violeta Barrios de Chamorro.[4] Fiallos played a pivotal role in upholding the integrity of the 1990 election: when he was instructed to announce, at 7PM on election night, 25 February, the results of the first four precincts as victories for the FSLN, he instead chose to read the real results, in which the precincts were split, with two going to the FSLN and two to the ONU candidate Chamorro, who went on to win the election.[5] Antonio Lacayo, a Sandinista supporter who voted for Ortega but ultimately served as a central figure in the Chamorro administration, said later: “Without Mariano Fiallos [Oyanguren] there would have been no democratic transition in 1990.”[3]

Fiallos resigned from the CSE in 1996, in response to the 1995 constitutional and electoral reforms, in which the National Assembly had established that members of political parties would make up the departmental and municipal electoral councils and the Voting Receiving Boards.[3] Fiallos said the consequence was that it was no longer possible for the CSE to exercise control.[3]

Fiallos died on 25 June 2014 in León, Nicaragua.[4] He is buried in León.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Nicaraguan Biographies: A Resource Book. U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs. 1988. p. 21.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Álvarez, Leonor. "Generación Del 23 De Julio Reivindica El Reclamo Histórico De Los Estudiantes Por Los Derechos Civiles." La Prensa. 23 July 2020. Via ProQuest.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h López, Ismael (29 June 2014). "El impulsor de la transparencia electoral". Confidencial (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b Salinas, Carlos (6 July 2014). "Mariano Fiallos, juez nicaragüense que luchó por la democracia". El País (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 1 March 2021. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  5. ^ Cid, Amalia del. "Cinco Grandes Fraudes Electorales En La Historia De Nicaragua." Archived 16 December 2020 at the Wayback Machine La Prensa. 16 August 2020. Via ProQuest.