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René Barrientos Ortuño

Barrientos Ortuño, René (rānāˈ bär-ryānˈtōs ōrtōˈnyō) [key], 1919–69, Bolivian political leader. Commander of the Bolivian air force, he supported the National Revolutionary Movement (MNR), the majority political party, and was elected vice president in 1964 on the MNR ticket. He soon broke with President Paz, however, and, after joining other army officers in a coup (Nov., 1964), was installed as head of a military junta. In May, 1965, Alfredo Ovando Candia joined him as copresident, but Barrientos became sole president after winning the July, 1966, elections. He launched a moderate (albeit military) administration, retaining the reforms instituted by his predecessors. He was killed in a helicopter crash and was succeeded by Vice President Luis Adolfo Siles Salinas.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Bolivian History: Biographies

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