| Share

Omar Torrijos Herrera

Torrijos Herrera, Omar (ōmärˈ tōrēˈhōs ārāˈrä) [key], 1929–81, military leader, dictator of Panama (1968–78). As a lieutenant colonel, he led, together with Col. Boris Martínez, the coup (1968) that ousted President Arnulfo Arias. In 1969, he exiled Martínez, and promoted himself to brigadier general. Later that year, following a coup attempt by younger officers, he tightened his grip on the country. He instituted wide-ranging economic and social reforms, espousing birth control, expropriating land, and attacking Panama's powerful families. In Sept., 1972, an elected assembly granted Torrijos full civil and military powers for six years. He successfully negotiated new Panama Canal treaties (1977) with U.S. President Jimmy Carter that transferred the Canal Zone and ultimately the canal to Panamanian control. In 1978, he chose not to run for president, though he remained as commander of the National Guard. He died in a plane crash.

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

More on Torrijos Herrera Omar from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Panama History: Biographies

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring