Jorge Pacheco Areco

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Pacheco and the second or maternal family name is Areco.
Jorge Pacheco
Jorge Pacheco Areco.jpg
President of Uruguay
In office
December 6, 1967 – March 1, 1972
Preceded by Óscar Gestido
Succeeded by Juan María Bordaberry
Vice President of Uruguay
In office
March 1, 1967 – December 6, 1967
President Óscar Gestido
Preceded by Vacant
Succeeded by Alberto Abdala
Personal details
Born Jorge Pacheco Areco
(1920-04-09)April 9, 1920
Died July 29, 1998(1998-07-29) (aged 78)
Political party Colorado Party
Spouse(s) Gladys Herrera,
María Angélica Klein,
Graciela Rompani
Children Ricardo, Jorge y María Isabel
Occupation Politician, journalist, diplomat

Jorge Pacheco Areco (April 9, 1920 – July 29, 1998) was a Uruguayan politician and member of the Colorado Party. He served as President of Uruguay from December 6, 1967 to March 1, 1972.[1]

Early political career[edit]

Pacheco joined the Colorado Party in the late 1950s, and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1962.

In the government of President Óscar Gestido in 1967, Pacheco served as Vice President of Uruguay, a post which was revived when he took office, having been in abeyance for several years. Pacheco was the sixth person to hold the office of Vice President of Uruguay. The office dates from 1934, when César Charlone became Uruguay's first Vice President.

Presidential term (1967–1972)[edit]

Jorge Pacheco, then vice president, succeeded to the presidency in December 1967 after the elected president Óscar Gestido died after a few months in office.[1]

He immediately implemented price and wage freezes in an attempt to control inflation, and enforced a state of emergency in June 1968 citing the resulting labour disputes instigated by the Communist Party of Uruguay, following the directions of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Constitutional safeguards were suspended, following the law and the Constitution, with approval of Congress, to restore order and end the violent demonstrations during these periods [2]

His administration fought the National Liberation Movement (MLN in Spanish), an urban guerrilla group also known as the Tupamaros, formed earlier in 1963, a left-wing revolutionary organization broadly inspired by Cuba's model. The group killed, arsoned, dynamitated buildings and clubs, and kidnapped several foreign nationals and diplomats, robbed banks to raise funds, and killed police officials. The government, with Parliament's approval, imposed emergency measures from June 1968 to March 1969.[3] In June 1969, New York (U.S. state) governor Nelson Rockefeller visited Uruguay on a fact-finding mission. He was met by a great deal of violent anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism demonstrations, and the government reimposed the state of emergency with Congress' approval.[4]

In September 1971, the Tupamaros massively escaped from prison, right before November 1971 national elections, in which Pacheco ran for a second term. Since Uruguay's constitution does not allow for re-election, a referendum for constitutional change was submitted together with the presidential election. The population had become polarized under his presidential term.[5] Many opposition parties united, among which were the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Party for the Victory of the People (PVP), the 26 de Marzo Movement (political arm of the Tupamaros) and other marxist groups and organizations, and created a new coalition named the Frente Amplio ("Broad Front").[6]

There were several prominent politicians in his government, among others: César Charlone, Luis Hierro Gambardella, Julio María Sanguinetti, Manuel Flores Mora, Jorge Peirano Facio, Eduardo Jiménez de Aréchaga, José Antonio Mora, Jorge Sapelli, Juan María Bordaberry, and, at the beginning, Alba Roballo (future founder of the Frente Amplio).

Although he was the most voted candidate in the history of Uruguay, the required 50% support was not met for the constitutional reform that would allow him to take a second term. Jorge Pacheco's handpicked successor, Juan María Bordaberry, won the elections by roughly ten thousand votes. The stabilization measures implemented throughout Pacheco's term were successful and that is why people massively voted for him. During Bordaberry's term the economy got worse.[6]

Post-presidential years (1972–1998)[edit]

After leaving office, Bordaberry appointed him ambassador to Spain. Later on, President Aparicio Méndez appointed him ambassador to Switzerland and the United States. He returned to Uruguay in 1982, to fight the all-party primaries of 1982, which was the first step towards democratization after the democratic interruption of June 1973. The "Batllismo" faction of the Colorado Party led by Julio María Sanguinetti won the primaries. With this victory, the hegemony of Pacheco's faction in the party came to an end, at least, for several years.

Jorge Pacheco stood once again as presidential candidate for the Unión Colorada y Batllista in the November 1984 elections, selecting his former Deputy Defence Secretary and Secretary to the President Carlos Pirán as his running-mate. Although the Colorado Party won the elections, he lost to Sanguinetti 3 to 1 within the party.

Pacheco supported the new Colorado administration, and the UCB was represented in the cabinet. Sanguinetti designated Pacheco to be once again ambassador, this time to Paraguay. Returning from Paraguay, he accepted once again the Unión Colorada y Batllista nomination for the 1989 elections. Representative Pablo Millor was selected as his running-mate, representing an up-and-coming faction within the UCB. Pacheco once again lost, both internally to Jorge Batlle of the Batllismo faction, and the Colorado Party to the National Party.

Pacheco was part of the coalition government set up by President Luis Alberto Lacalle. Due to this, his former VP candidate Pablo Millor split from his faction, taking with him close to half of the Pachequismo's elected representatives, creating a new, independent sector within the Colorados called "Cruzada 94". The UCB was the last faction to remain in Lacalle's government, apart obviously from the President's Herrerismo.

With his health in a quite frail state, Pacheco run once again for President, in elections in November 1994. This time his running-mate was outgoing Industry Minister (from the Lacalle administration) Eduardo Ache. Pacheco's election result was very poor, but even his marginal result was significant for the Colorado Party to narrowly defeat the National Party and electing once again Julio María Sanguinetti to the presidency.

After the 1994 elections, Pacheco retired from active politics, and only occasionally would make any public appearance. He died on July 29, 1998, being buried with Presidential honours at the Central Cemetery of Montevideo.[7]

Family background[edit]

Pacheco was born in a family with strong political ties.[8]

His father, Manuel Pacheco, was doctor and politician. He was a distant relative of Rafael, César and Lorenzo Batlle Pacheco.

His maternal grandfather, Ricardo Areco, was an important politician at the beginning of the 20th century.

His son, Jorge Pacheco Klein, also exercised a political career as a Colorado Party deputy.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Leaders of Uruguay" on, accessed 15 May 2006.
  2. ^ "La Agonía de una Democracia," Julio Maria Sanguinetti.
  3. ^ "Pacheco: La Trama Oculta del Poder," Trullen y Chagas,
  4. ^ "La Agonía de una Democracia," Julio Maria Sanguinetti
  5. ^ "La Agonía de una Democracia," julio Maria Sanguinetti
  6. ^ a b "Uruguay (Pachequism, 1967-72)",, accessed 15 May 2006.
  7. ^ "Pacheco, a man chosen for president by destiny" (in Spanish). El Espectador. 1998-07-30. 
  8. ^ Family of Jorge Pacheco Areco
Political offices
Preceded by
"Colegiado": No Vice President
Vice President of Uruguay
Succeeded by
Alberto Abdala
Preceded by
Óscar Diego Gestido
President of Uruguay
Succeeded by
Juan María Bordaberry