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Callejas Romero, Rafael Leonardo (1943–)

Callejas Romero, Rafael Leonardo (1943–)

Rafael Leonardo Callejas Romero (b. 14 November 1943), president of Honduras (1990–1994) who promoted economic development along neoliberal lines. The son of a landowning family, Callejas earned B.S. (1965) and M.S. (1966) degrees in agricultural economics at Mississippi State University. Beginning in 1967 he was an economic planner in the Honduran government and a board member of several Honduran public and private corporations.

Callejas was an unsuccessful National Party presidential candidate in 1981 and 1985 before winning in 1989 as head of the MONARCA (Rafael Callejas National Renovation Movement) faction of the National Party. He favored development under U.S. president Ronald Reagan's Caribbean Basin Initiative and enjoyed strong U.S. support in his campaign. His popularity with conservative leaders in the industrial nations helped him gain favorable international financial agreements that contributed to economic gains early in his administration as he devalued the currency, privatized government enterprises, and pursued other structural adjustments favored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID). By 1993, however, Honduras was in serious financial difficulty and suffered severe shortages of foodstuffs, problems that contributed to a Liberal victory in the November 1993 presidential election. Although Callejas was the third elected civilian president to rule Honduras in succession since 1980, the armed forces, which remained autonomous under Callejas, continued to be a strong force in Honduran politics.

See alsoHonduras, National Party (PNH) .


For a more detailed biographical sketch of Callejas, see the entry by Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., in the Encyclopedia of World Biography, vol. 18, edited by David Eggenberger (1994). For a detailed overview of recent Honduran political history, see Alison Acker, Honduras: The Making of a Banana Republic (1988); James Dunkerley, Power in the Isthmus, a Political History of Modern Central America (1988); and Tom Barry and Kent Nors-worthy, Honduras: A Country Guide (1990). More detail on Callejas's presidential administration may be found in Howard H. Lenter, State Formation in Central America: The Struggle for Autonomy, Development, and Democracy (1993).

Additional Bibliography

Flores Valeriano, Enrique. Moralización de la administración pública. Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 1995.

                             Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.

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