Ernesto de la Guardia

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Ernesto de la Guardia Navarro (May 30, 1904 in Panama City, Panama – May 2, 1983 in Panama City) was president of Panama from October 1, 1956 to October 1, 1960. He belonged to the National Patriotic Coalition (CNP).

Early life and Education[edit]

Born in Panama City, he was educated at Dartmouth College in the United States, where he obtained a master's degree in finance.

Political career[edit]

He began his political career as a consul in the Costa Rican consulate in San Francisco.[1] Prior to his administration, he held diplomatic positions, as well as serving as secretary of state and First Vice President from 1945 to 1948. He was considered a visionary of the Electoral Tribunal and other constitutional reforms, he earned a reputation as a leading advocate for Panamian democracy. During his administration, he was involved in disputes with the United States involving interpretations of the treaties regarding the Panama Canal Zone. On April 26, 1959, he faced an attempted coup planned by diplomat Roberto Arias, nephew of deposed ex-president Arnulfo Arias and husband of famous British ballerina Margot Fonteyn 1. The coup , allegedly sponsored by Fidel Castro, was suppressed with help from the United States and other American countries.

Personal life[edit]

Navarro was married to Mercedes Galindo, where they had two sons and a daughter.

Later life and Death[edit]

After vacating the presidency, he was a member of the Academia Panameña de la Lengua (directing it in 1973 2), and directed the weekly Mundo Gráfico. He died in Panama City in 1983 at the age of 79.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jeptha Duncan
First Vice President of Panama
1945–1948
Succeeded by
Daniel Chanis
Preceded by
Ricardo Arias
President of Panama
1956–1960
Succeeded by
Roberto Chiari


  1. ^ Leonard, Thomas M. (18 November 2014). Historical Dictionary of Panama. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 145. ISBN 9780810878358.