Álvarez, Luis Héctor (1919–)

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Álvarez, Luis Héctor (1919–)

The Mexican politician and opposition party leader Luis Héctor Álvarez was born on October 25, 1919, in Ciudad Camargo, Chihuahua. Álvarez received part of his education in El Paso, Texas, and took an engineering degree from MIT. A businessman, he was first employed in the textile industry, after which he became director of the Río Bravo Industrial Company (1957). He joined the National Action Party (PAN) in the early 1950s, having been active in numerous civic and business associations in Ciudad Juárez, including serving as director of the chamber of commerce. He served on the party's National Executive Committee. Selected by the PAN as its presidential candidate, he opposed Adolfo López Mateos in the 1958 presidential election.

Although he remained out of the national political limelight for many years, he won election as mayor of Chihuahua in 1983. He received national media attention in 1986 for engaging in a forty-one-day hunger strike in protest against voter fraud by the Institutional Revolutionary Party. He is credited with inspiring a resurgence of activism and support for his party in Chihuahua. Upon completion of his term as mayor, he served as president of the PAN from 1987 to 1993. Under his leadership PAN ran the most successful presidential campaign in its history in 1988, with Manuel Clouthier as its candidate. As a leading contributor to the democratic opening in Mexican politics, Álvarez served as a senator from 1994 to 2000. His colleagues appointed him as president of the congressional peace commission to the Zapatistas in 1997. As of 2006 he continued to serve ex officio on his party's National Executive Committee.

See alsoMexico, Political Parties: National Action Party (PAN); Mexico: Since 1910.


Mizrahi, Yemile. From Martyrdom to Power: The Partido Acción Nacional in Mexico. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2003.

Shirk, David A. Mexico's New Politics: The PAN and Democratic Change. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2005.

                                        Roderic Ai Camp

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Álvarez, Luis Héctor (1919–)

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