Arosemena Gómez, Otto (1925–1984)

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Arosemena Gómez, Otto (1925–1984)

Otto Arosemena Gómez (b. 19 July 1925; d. 20 April 1984), president of Ecuador (1966–1968). A native of Guayaquil who received his law degree from that city's public university, Arosemena entered local politics. Serving as president of the Guayas provincial electoral tribunal (1952) and then as a deputy in the National Congress, he became a prominent businessman as well as a lawyer. He was twice chosen as senator representing coastal commercial organizations. Originally a Liberal, Arosemena broke away to organize his personalistic Coalición Institucionalista Democrática (CID) on 2 February 1965. He was one of three CID members in the 1966 Constituent Assembly, where he made a pact with the Right and was chosen provisional president of the nation (November 1967).

Arosemena remained in office for twenty months, during which a new constitution was adopted and national elections were held. His government was cautious in the area of domestic policy, although Arosemena was outspoken in foreign affairs. Hostility to U.S. policy led him to withhold his signature from the official declaration adopted by the 1967 conference of hemispheric presidents in Punta del Este, Uruguay. He subsequently criticized the Alliance for Progress and after a public exchange with the U.S. ambassador, ordered his expulsion from Ecuador. Once out of office, Arosemena sought to build the CID, but with limited success. His party backed the rightist presidential candidate León Febres-Cordero in the 1984 elections, then swiftly dissolved upon the death of Arosemena.

See alsoEcuador, Political Parties: Overview .


John D. Martz, Ecuador: Conflicting Political Culture and the Quest for Progress (1972).

Additional Bibliography

Estupiñán Tello, Julio. El cuarenta de Otto Arosemena Gómez y la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente de 1966–67: los coroneles de la tradición. Esmeraldas, Ecuador: J. Estupiñán Tello, 2000.

                                           John D. Martz

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Arosemena Gómez, Otto (1925–1984)

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