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Hernán Siles Zuazo

Siles Zuazo, Hernán (ārnänˈ sēˈlās swäˈsō) [key], 1914–96, president of Bolivia (1956–60, 1982–85). The illegitimate son of Hernando Siles Reyes (president of Bolivia, 1926–30) and an attorney, he was founder of the pro-miner National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) and a leader of the bloody revolt (Apr., 1952) that brought the MNR into power. He served as vice president (1952–56) under Victor Paz Estenssoro and succeeded him as president in 1956. He continued the reform programs initiated by President Paz and launched, with some success, a campaign to cure the country's economic ills. He was succeeded by Paz, who was reelected in 1960. Although in exile after the 1964 coup, he remained politically active, emerging as leader of a faction of the MNR. He returned to Bolivia and was elected president in 1980 but was forced to flee and was not inaugurated until 1982, when democracy was restored. Mounting economic problems, especially uncontrollable inflation, led to his defeat three years later.

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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