Alfredo González Flores

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Biography[edit]

Alfredo González
Alfredo Gonzalez Flores.jpg
President of Costa Rica
In office
8 May 1914 – 27 January 1917
Preceded by Ricardo Jiménez
(first term)
Succeeded by Federico Tinoco
Personal details
Born 15 June 1877
Heredia
Died 28 December 1962 (aged 85)
Heredia

Alfredo González Flores served as President of Costa Rica from 1914 to 1917. He was unable to complete his presidential mandate following a coup d'état on 27 January 1917, led by Federico Tinoco, his secretary for War and the Navy.

González was born in Heredia, Costa Rica on 15 June 1877 as the son of Domingo González Pérez and Elemberta Flores. He graduated from the Costa Rica Grammar School in 1896 and obtained his law degree in 1903.

He was called to the Presidency on 8 May 1914 by the Congress, as part of a pact between the two major political parties, the Republican Party and the Duranista party, after none of the three competing parties managed to secure an absolute majority.

Statue in homage to Don Alfredo, ex-president of Costa Rica (1914-1917)

During his administration, he founded the Normal School of Heredia (1915, of which he also was President of the Board), the National Electricity Cabinet and the International Bank of Costa Rica (now the National Bank of Costa Rica). He also created the Agricultural Credit Meetings, which led to a resurgence of economic, commercial and industrial activity in the country.[citation needed] He established the General Depots, the system of direct taxation and the Charity Tax Law. He governed during World War I, a time when he endured serious financial consequences.[clarification needed] At a time when banks refused to facilitate credit for the Executive Branch, he created the International Bank, which had the ability to issue currency. From that moment, the State competed with private institutions.

On 27 January 1917, his own Secretary of the Army and Navy, Federico Tinoco, overthrew him. González followed the advice of his other ministers and left the country for the United States. He later worked for the recognition of the country's rights in different international forums. After returning to the country, he played an important role[which?] in the politics of Heredia.

He was considered[by whom?] an authority in financial matters and a precursor of modern democracy. He was declared a national hero on 23 July 1954. He died in Heredia on 28 December 1962.

Legacy[edit]

Alfredo was a precursor of modern democracy in Costa Rica. He was declared a national hero and is known for his wise financial decisions in government. He co-founded the largest commercial bank in Costa Rica and his face is currently found on the front of the 5,000 colon bank note.

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno
President of Costa Rica
1914-1917
Succeeded by
Federico Tinoco Granados