Léon Bertrand

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Léon Bertrand
Delegate Minister for Tourism to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure, Tourism and Sea
In office
2004 – May 15, 2007
Preceded byhimself (as Secretary of State for Tourism)
Succeeded byJean-Louis Borloo (as Minister of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea
Mayor of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1951-05-11) 11 May 1951 (age 67)
Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, French Guiana
Political partyUMP

Léon Bertrand (born May 11, 1951) is a French politician. Previously a professor of physics and biology, he is Mayor of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni since 1983. He was elected to the French National Assembly for the Rally for the Republic representing French Guiana's 2nd constituency in 1988 and was reelected at every election till 2007.


He described himself in an article published in the French daily Libération when he was a minister, in 2005: "Born on the banks of the Maroni River, in Guyana, a French département in Amazonia situated 7,000 km afar from Paris, grandson of a convict from Vendée who had married a Black woman after his liberation, son of a Creole father and of an Amerindian Surinamese mother, I am Léon Bertrand, with a name typically French but with a physical appearance typically exotic."[1]

He joined the UMP in 2002, and, as a known confidant of President Jacques Chirac, he was named Secretary of State for Tourism in 2002 and later Delegate Minister for Tourism in 2004. He held this office until May 15, 2007. When he was a minister, he realized that "several times, when I received in my office people who didn't know my physical appearance, their republican respectful «Monsieur le ministre» was automatically addressed to my advisor, who was white, and not to me. But what's for me quite exceptional and has very minor consequences as a public person is, on the contrary, the daily lot of all those who belong to what people label «Visible minority»."[1]

Running for re-election as deputy in the French legislative election, 2007, he was surprisingly defeated with 47.1% of the votes in the runoff against Chantal Berthelot (PSG), who won 52.9%. Nonetheless, he was re-elected Mayor of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni in 2008 by a large margin.

He was nominated as the UMP's top candidate in the 2010 regional elections in French Guiana.

During the night of 27–28 November 2009, Léon Bertrand was arrested and put into custody on charges of favoritism and corruption.[2]

Despite still being in custody, he is candidate on the third place of a right wing list not endorsed by the UMP for the March 2010 regional elections in French Guiana.[3]

Political career[edit]


  1. ^ a b French: Léon Bertrand, La République, l'affaire de tous. Les violences en banlieue ne doivent pas être traitées comme de simples problèmes d'ordre public., Libération, 17 November 2005
  2. ^ Marot, Laurent (November 28, 2009). "L'ancien ministre Léon Bertrand en détention provisoire" (in French). Le Monde. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  3. ^ "Léon Bertrand (UMP) en détention provisoire mais candidat aux régionales" (in French). AFP. February 17, 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010.

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