Carlos Duque

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Carlos Duque
Nationality Panamanian
Occupation businessman, politician
Known for 1989 presidential campaign
Political party
Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD)

Carlos Duque is a Panamanian politician best known for being the presidential candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party in the annulled 1989 presidential election.

1989 presidential candidacy[edit]

A former business partner of military ruler Manuel Noriega,[1] Duque was selected by Noriega to head the pro-Noriega Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) in 1988.[2] The following year, he stood as the party's presidential candidate.[3] Future PRD president Ernesto Pérez Balladares served as his campaign manager.[4]

Duque's primary rival for the presidency, Guillermo Endara, ran atop the ticket of the Democratic Alliance of Civic Opposition (ADOC), a coalition of parties opposed to Noriega. After the voting concluded, international observers reported that Endara's coalition was leading by a 3-to-1 margin, but the results were annulled by the Noriega government before counting was complete.[3]

The next day, Endara and one of his running mates, Guillermo Ford, were badly beaten by a detachment of Dignity Battalions, a paramilitary group supporting Noriega.[5][6] Endara was struck with an iron club and was briefly hospitalized, receiving eight stitches.[7] Images of the attack on Endara and Ford were carried by media around the world, and were credited with leading up to the US invasion that would soon follow.[6][8][9]

Post-election career[edit]

Duque was an opponent of the 1989 US invasion of Panama which deposed Noriega, calling it "the biggest error" and urging "nationalist parties" to battle US forces.[10] Several months after the invasion, US federal prosecutors accused Duque's company, Transit S.A., of funneling millions of dollars in kickbacks to the former ruler from a coffee-smuggling operation.[11]

In 1999, he worked on the campaign of PRD presidential candidate Martín Torrijos, son of former military ruler Omar Torrijos.[12] Martín Torrijos lost the presidential election that year to Mireya Moscoso, but went on to win in 2004.


  1. ^ Phillip Bennett (May 8, 1999). "Panama Casts Votes for Leader". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 2, 2012.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ William Branigin (January 21, 1989). "Noriega Celebrates Reagan Departure; Panamanian Problem Remains Unsolved as Bush Takes Office". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 2, 2012.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b "Endara's Coalition Faces Difficult Test". Albany Times Union. Associated Press. December 21, 1989. Archived from the original on August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ Howard W. French (February 21, 1994). "Panama Journal; Democracy at Work, Under Shadow of Dictators". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ Gregory Katz (May 11, 1989). "Panama Violence Spreads Thugs Attack 3 Anti-noriega Candidates". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Douglas Martin (September 30, 2009). "Guillermo Endara, Who Helped Lead Panama From Noriega to Democracy, Dies at 73". The New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Panama declares election result void; Endara hurt". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 11, 1989. Archived from the original on August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  8. ^ Myra MacPherson (January 30, 1990). "Panama's Philosopher Pol;Ricardo Arias Calderon's Leap From Exiled Academic to Vice President". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 31, 2012.  (subscription required)
  9. ^ Phil Davison (October 2, 2009). "Guillermo Endara". The Independent. Retrieved August 31, 2012. (subscription required)
  10. ^ Alina Guerrero (December 20, 1990). "Noriega backers call invasion 'genocide'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 2, 2012.  (subscription required)
  11. ^ "Noriega Tied To Smuggling Of Coffee;Kickbacks Alleged To Reach Millions". The Washington Post. February 15, 1990. Retrieved September 2, 2012.  (subscription required)
  12. ^ "Another Torrijos". The Economist.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). March 27, 1999. Retrieved 18 September 2012.