Lleras Camargo, Alberto

Lleras Camargo, Alberto älbārˈtō lyāˈräs kämärˈgō [key], 1906–90, president of Colombia (1945–46, 1958–62). A journalist, he entered politics as a Liberal, occupying many important government posts in the 1930s and 1940s. After his first short stint as president (1945–46), he served as director of the Pan-American Union (1947–48) and as first secretary-general of the Organization of American States (1948–54). He was instrumental in unseating the dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1957) and was the chief architect of the constitutional amendment (approved Dec., 1957) that provided for bipartisan Liberal-Conservative rule for a period of 12 years (later extended to 16 years). This plan, almost unique in the politics of the hemisphere, ended 10 years of bloody political strife that had cost approximately 200,000 lives. It also enabled Lleras, as president (1958–62), to stabilize the economy.

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