August 16, 2002 – Incumbent
August 27, 1963 |
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|Political party||Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC)|
|Spouse(s)||Isabel León Nouel|
|Children||Andrés Guillermo, Daniela and Diego|
|Alma mater||Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE)|
Víctor 'Ito' Orlando Bisonó Haza (born August 27, 1963) is a politician from the Dominican Republic and current member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic representing the 2nd circunscription of the Distrito Nacional since the year 2002. Bisonó is a member of the Social Christian Reformist Party, and he has been Second Vice President of the Dominican-Haitian Chamber of Commerce.
Early life and education
'Ito' Bisonó was born in Santo Domingo, and is the son of architect Victor Bisonó Pichardo, born into a prominent family[nb 1] from Villa Bisonó in the foothills of Santiago, and Ivonne Haza (de/es), a renowned national soprano from San Pedro de Macorís. He completed grade school at Colegio Santa Teresita and his undergraduate studies at the Universidad Iberoamericana, achieving his degree in Business Management. He also completed some courses in Engineering at the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña.
|Ancestors of Víctor Bisonó|
Bisonó joined the Social Christian Reformist Party in the early 1980s when it was in the opposition after having been in government for 12 years with its leader Joaquín Balaguer. The Dominican Revolutionary Party seemed unstoppable at the time after beating the PRSC by wide margins in 1978 and 1982 with Antonio Guzmán and Salvador Jorge Blanco respectively. Ito did not come from a political family and what connections his family did have were actually with the PRD rather than the reformists as his mother was a singing coach for President Guzman and during the government of Salvador Jorge Blanco both mother and father were part of the administration as Director of the National Theatre and the Patronage of Bellas Artes respectively. However he developed a conservative or classical liberal ideology that did not fit in with the PRD, a member of Socialist International.
He along with many other young members of the PRSC were very active and influential in Balaguer's victory at the Dominican Republic presidential election, 1986. This new government was essentially different from the previous 12 years since the Cold War was nearing its end and political confrontation between the Dominican left and right was now strictlly political as opposed to armed conflict. Many new faces joined Balaguer, and Ito became one of them.
Bisonó had many different positions during Balaguer's 10 years of government which included being assistant to the Secretary of Public Works, assistant of the administrator of the Dominican Corporation of Electricity (where he became well known to the public), assistant of the Dominican Council for Promotion of Foreign Investment and spokesperson of at the Administrative Board of the Dominican Marble Industry.
In 1998 he won internal primaries to become candidate for deputy representing his party but the PRSC was in deep crisis and only gained 2 seats in Santo Domingo and 17 nationwide that year. This was during a time when the election to the Chamber of Deputies was done using Closed party lists. Although he had won the primaries with 16,000 votes, he was placed at number 10 which effectively crippled his chances. He however kept campaigning not so much for himself but for the party and then again in the presidential election of 2000, when Balaguer entered the race one last time and had an excellent showing considering his late entry to the race and divided party. The party was 2nd place overall and 3rd place taking into account the political alliance between the Dominican Liberation Party and the Bloque Institucional Social Démocrata. For the 2002 elections with the party more united than in 1998 and with the recently created preferential vote which allowed the electorate to cast their vote for any candidate from the party list, Bisonó joined the Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic after having received 4,667 votes in a universe of 60,000.
Bisonó became one of the more well known faces of his party in that period which lead to him being elected party spokesperson for 2002-2003 during which time he led various opposition measures against the majority PRD and even received the support of the PLD at times. This made him viable candidate for President of the Lower Chamber for which he received the support of over a dozen fellow congressmen. A very impressionable feat for a freshman.
During this first term in office he was voted in unanimously as member of the National Council of the Magistrate which is the board that appoints the judges of the Dominican Supreme Court of Justice. 25 deputies from all 3 main parties gave him their support.
In congress he is a member of the following committees: Finance, Human Rights, Public Works, Energy, Mining and Dominicans abroad.
He was re-elected for a second term in congress after the 2006 election and was the only winning candidate of the PRSC in the Dominican capital and then again in 2010 this time as the candidate with the most votes.
Because of his role in defending the environment of the Dominican Republic, Bisonó has become the representative of eco-friendly Dominicans in Congress. He has sponsored many events to decrease pollution, fumigate areas affected by infested lagoons, tree planting sprees as well as presenting many comprehensive pieces of legislation concerning environmental conservation and climate change.
Role in the PRSC
Although Ito was very active in his support of Eduardo Estrella inside the PRSC, when the latter left the party the former decided to stay. Not being a member of any of the warring factions within his party has allowed him to become one of its more popular members.
Since party leader Joaquín Balaguer's death in 2002, the party has seen many divisions. The most controversial was the one caused by the 2003 primaries which resulted in Eduardo Estrella winning over former Vice-President Jacinto Peynado. There were accusations that Estrella was sponsored by Hipólito Mejía and this caused many members to ally with the Dominican Liberation Party and its candidate Leonel Fernández.
These division caused strong defeats for the party and especially so in the 2008 election in which the party did not pass the 5% threshold in orden to stay a majority party. This led Congressman Bisonó to call for party renewal and he aspired to become President of the PRSC for which great support was received nationwide. However, after the return of those who had allied themselves with Fernandez, the presidency was handed to Carlos Morales Troncoso as a result of Amable Aristy Castro jumping out of the race and throwing his support to behind the Foreign Minister. Ito was finally named to the collegiate Permanent Presidential Commission of the party as one of the 13 members than compose it.
Initially supporting Carlos Morales, he began to drift apart after it became clear that the new party leader was very committed to the governing PLD and party members who did not want a first round alliance with Danilo Medina asked him to run for the Presidency in representation of the PRSC as a way to assure an independent position. Even before all this, he had appeared as a very strong third candidate in a Gallup poll with a respectable 9 percent behind Morales with 14. After announcing and beginning his campaign in late March, he quickly surpassed him and polled 19% in Gallup while Morales still had 14 and then 20% in Penn Schoen Berland effectively displacing the former second place holder who now polled 8%. Amable Aristy was first place in all of these but he has not indicated intention of running.
Ito remains one of the most emblematic figures of the PRSC and is immensely popular even amongst non-reformist voters.
He is married to Isabel León with whom he has 3 children: Andrés Guillermo, Daniela Isabel and Diego Orlando Bisonó León.
- The Bisonó family descends from Jean Bissonnet (d. 1817), his wife Marie Framingdano, and their child, Pierre Bissonnet (born in France in 1775). Pierre married twice, first to Marie-Joséphine Sanout and later to Marie Thami. The Bissonnet were landowners in Gonaïves, Saint-Domingue (currently Haiti) and had to flee amid a massacre against whites to San José de las Matas, in the then-French-administered Santo Domingo (currently the Dominican Republic). Pierre had 1 children with the former: María Josefa (born in Gonaïves, died 1896 in San José de las Matas); with the latter he had 4 children: Pedro Luys (1805-1853), Ana (1806-1886), Miguel (?), Pedro Antonio (1807-1882), all born in San José de las Matas; his father died in 1817, in San José de las Matas. Some children of Miguel and Pedro Luys Bisonó moved from San José de las Matas and established in what today is known as “Villa Bisonó”, and became wealthy farmers and traders, and eventually a prominent family.
- Quezada, Sonia (7 March 2009). "Cámara Domínico-Haitiana elige nueva junta directiva" (in Spanish). El Nacional. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- "Cámara Dominico-Haitiana tiene una nueva directiva". Listín Diario. 18 March 2009. Archived from the original on 9 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.[dead link]
- Juan Francisco Bisonó; Haliday Saturria Vargas (October 2011). "Inmigración Francesa a San José de las Matas: Tercera inmigración a la Sierra". Genealogía Serrana (pdf) (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Santo Domingo: Argos. pp. 14, 24, 55–56, 60. ISBN 978-9945-408-58-4. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
PAGE 14 → En el caso particular de los Bisoneuax, Juan Antonio Bisonó Morales (Don Biso) nos relata lo que escuchó de Don Estevan Bisonó Muñoz, y naturalmente, de sus tíos: “Que los Bisonó vinieron de Gonaïves, que tenían plantaciones, que allí era colonos azucareros, que salieron huyendo de la masacre de los ex esclavos. En su trayecto hacia la parte oriental de la isla, pernoctaron en Guaraganó (Monción). Que su destino final fue la población de San José de las Matas. (...) que el negro esclavo que trabajaba en su plantación y que le había advertido sobre la masacre que le venía encima, más tarde vino a San José de las Matas a donde sus antiguos propietarios. PAGE 24 → El caso de Pedro Antonio Bisonó Thami (cuyo nombre original era Pierre Antoine), quien era uno de los seis hijos del primer Bisonó que llegó a la Sierra, del francés Pedro Bisonó (nacido en Francia para el 1775 aproximadamente). (...) El otro grupo familiar Bisonó que llega a Villa Bisonó (Navarrete) es de la descendencia de Juan Estanislao Bisonó Muñoz, hijo de Pedro Luys Bisonó Thami (hermano de Miguel Bisonó Thami). Juan Estanislao con Agapita Fernández Castro tiene también una prolífera descendencia. De aquí viene los Bisonó Mera, el legendario héroe Elías Bisonó Mera (el llamado Comandante Bisonó). Tenemos a Ito Bisonó, pre-candidato presidencial por el PRSC; a Tato Bisonó, exitoso empresario de la construcción. PAGE 55 → El Bisonó matero es mucho más conservador, más apegado a las costumbres ancestrales. Es que Las Matas sólo le ofrecía tranquilidad, clima paradisíaco. El sustento familiar se limitaba a pequeños negocios domésticos; nada industrial; solo pequeños conucos familiares, pulperías, a trueques entre vecinos (todos eran familiares). Los asalariados llegaban a dos o tres suelditos. Era una comunidad completamente rural; sólo en las Secciones aledañas al poblado encontrábamos campesinos que sus plantaciones de café y otros rublos mantenían una posición económica holgada; pero en el poblado mismo el progreso comercial e industrial era prácticamente nulo. PAGE 56 → Fueron estos dos los genearca del Bisonó de Villa Bisonó (Navarrete). (...) ran pues los originarios Bisonó de esta región próspero potentado; propietarios de extensas fincas de terrenos. El Dr. Joaquín Joaquín Balaguer en su libro "Memoria de un Cortesano" hace referencia a la opulencia económica de los Bisonó en Navarrete para el primer decenio del 1900. (...) Vemos en la descendencia de los Bisonó de Navarrete (Villa Bisonó) una participación muy activa en las funciones públicas al través de los distintos gobiernos de turno. En la rama militar o policial encontramos innumerables personajes con altos rangos en sus distintas disciplinas y facciones políticas...
- Balaguer, Joaquín (1988). Memorias de un Cortesano de la Era de Trujillo (in Spanish) (6th ed.). Santo Domingo: Editora Corripio. pp. 12, 420.
“Ya en esa época, sin embargo, la villa contaba con alguna actividad económica, que se manifestaba con la existencia en ella de varios establecimientos comerciales de cierta importancia. Los más sobresalientes pertenecían a un emigrante catalán, Don Ricaldo Canalda... y a Don Elías Bisonó, dueño además de varias fincas dedicadas a la ganadería. Sus casas eran las dos más poderosas y las que atraían mayor clientela de los campos vecinos. Pero junto a ellas se fueron formando otras más modestas, como las de Washington Lithgow... y la de Don Francisquito Bisonó. (...) La aldea nativa empieza a servir de asiento a numerosos establecimientos comerciales que la convierten poco a poco en una pequeña villa de extraordinaria actividad económica, desproporcionada con su tamaño. Entre esos establecimientos figuran el de Don Alberto Asencio, el de Don Miguel Mercado, el de Francisquito Bisonó y el de Don Juan Caridad Bisonó.”
- Espinal Hernández, Edwin (April 1995). "Dilucidaciones histórico-genealógicas sobre Fernando Valerio" (in Spanish). Instituto Dominicano de Genealogía. Retrieved 4 August 2014.