Daniel Chanis Pinzón

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Daniel Chanis
President of Panama
In office
28 July 1949 – 20 November 1949
Vice President Roberto Chiari
Preceded by Domingo Díaz Arosemena
Succeeded by Roberto Chiari
Vice President of Panama
In office
Preceded by Ernesto de la Guardia
Succeeded by Roberto Chiari
Personal details
Born 20 November 1892
Panama City, Panama
Died January 22, 1961(1961-01-22) (aged 68)
Political party Liberal Party
Occupation Physician

Dr. Daniel Chanis Pinzón (20 November 1892 in Panama City – 22 January 1961) was Panamanian politician and physician.

As First Vice President of Domingo Díaz Arosemena he became President of Panama on July 28, 1949 and served until November 20, 1949, when he was forcibly ousted by police chief José ("Chichi") Remón.[1] He was succeeded by Díaz Arosemena's Second Vice President, Roberto Chiari. He belonged to the Liberal Party.

Early life[edit]

Chanis earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1917,[2] practicing medicine in both Panama and Scotland.[3] Chanis published a paper in the American Urological Association's Journal of Urology in 1942 titled "Some Aspects of Hermaphroditism: Report of a Case of Female Pseudohermaphroditism" in 1942.[4] He also served as General Council of Panama in Liverpool and London, and as Treasury Minister.[3]

First Vice-President[edit]

National police forces, under the command of Remón, were called in ostensibly to maintain the monitor the elections,[5] though in reality their presence was intended to sway the voting to Diaz Arosemena,[5] the preferred candidate of the United States.[6] Chanis ran as the First Vice-Presidential candidate with Díaz Arosemena. Though Arias appeared to have 1,500 more votes than Díaz Arosemena following the May 9 election,[5] the Panamanian national elections jury declared Díaz Arosemena the winner on August 6 by a margin of approximately 2,400 votes.[7] Arias fled to Costa Rica following the decision.[5] Chanis assumed the duties of First Vice=President on October 1, 1948.[7]


Chanis was sworn in as acting chief executive on July 28, 1949, when then president Domingo Diaz Arosemena took a six-month leave for health reasons.[8] Chanis became president following Arosemena's death on August 23, 1949.

1949 Coup d'état[edit]

Chanis's presidency came to an end on November 20, 1949. Panamanian Police Chief José Remón led a coup d'état in response to Chanis's refusal to overturn a Panama Supreme Court decision invalidating a contract between an abbatoir that was "part of Remón's business empire"[9] and several powerful Panamanian families. Chanis had asked for Remón's resignation previously,[2] and, when Remón refused, tendered his own resignation in protest.[10] Whether this resignation was voluntary or forced by Remón is unclear,[2][10] although it would appear that foreign diplomatic pressure, not wanting to see full out bloodshed, encouraged the resignation.[10] Chanis was replaced by Second Vice-President, and Remón's cousin,[5] Roberto Chiari.

Coup Aftermath[edit]

Shortly after his resignation, Chanis had a change of heart and withdrew his resignation,[9] claiming it came under duress,[11] and delivered a "blistering attack"[10] on Remón before the General Assembly. The Assembly, at the behest of former president Harmodio Arias,[10] supported Chanis, and prepared for confrontation with the national police.[10] Chiari forced his hand, however, and demanded the Panama Supreme Court rule on who, he or Chanis, was the constitutional president; the Supreme Court came back in favor of Chanis by a 4-1 vote.[11] This misstep, and his desire to avoid violence, led Remón to replace him with his former "bitter political enemy"[12] Arnulfo Arias, with the approval of the Panama Congress.[12] To legitimize the presidency, the national election jury, who had in 1948 ruled against Arias, " found pro-Arias votes it had been unable to find in weeks after the 1948 balloting".[10]


  1. ^ "Arnulfo Again". Time. 1949-12-05. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  2. ^ a b c Harding, Robert C. (2001). Military Foundations of Panamanian Politics. Transaction Publishers. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-7658-0075-6. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Historia Patria: Daniel Chanis Pinzón". Republica de Panama. Archived from the original on 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  4. ^ Daniel Chanis (1942). Some Aspects of Hermaphroditism: Report of a Case of Female Pseudohermaphroditism. American Urological Association. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Harding, Robert C. (2006). The history of Panama. Greenwood Press. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-313-33322-4. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  6. ^ Rockwell, Rick J.; Janus, Noreene (2003). Media power in Central America. University of Illinois Press. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-252-02802-1. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  7. ^ a b "Final Count Shows Arias Lost May 9 Voting in Panama". Milwaukee Journal. 1948-08-07. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  8. ^ "President of Panama Dead". Sarasota herald-Tribune. 1949-08-23. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  9. ^ a b Major, John (2003). Prize Possession: The United States Government and the Panama Canal 1903-1979. Cambridge University Press. p. 271. ISBN 978-0-521-52126-0. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g LaFeber, Walter (1990) [1978]. The Panama Canal: the crisis in historical perspective. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-19-505930-4. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  11. ^ a b "Panama Police Say Ex-President Arias Again Heads Country". St. Petersburg Times. 1949-11-25. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  12. ^ a b "Third President in Riotous Week Rules in Panama:". Southeast Missourian. 1949-11-25. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 

Political offices
Preceded by
Ernesto de la Guardia
First Vice President of Panama
Succeeded by
Roberto Chiari
Preceded by
Domingo Díaz Arosemena
President of Panama
July 1949 – November 1949
Succeeded by
Roberto Chiari