Chiari, Rodolfo E. (1870–1937)

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Chiari, Rodolfo E. (1870–1937)

Rodolfo E. Chiari (b. 15 November 1870; d. 16 August 1937), Panamanian politician, president (1924–1928), and businessman. Born in Aguadulce, he held many government posts before and after the country's separation from Colombia. He was a deputy to the National Convention in 1904, treasurer of Panama City (1905–1906), deputy secretary of the treasury in the national government (1908), and manager of the national bank (1909–1914). In 1910 he was elected third designate to the presidency, and in 1912 he briefly took charge of the executive office. In 1914 he became the secretary of government and justice, and in 1922 he was appointed director general of the telegraph service. Chiari was a prominent member of the Liberal Party, perhaps second only to Belisario Porras. Following his election in 1924, Chiari substituted Porras's populist style with a more business-oriented administration, which led to a quarrel and ultimately to a split in the party.

In 1925 Chiari faced two serious crises. The first was a rebellion by the Cuna Indians on the San Blas Islands, which he quelled successfully. Then, the Tenants Revolt (movimiento inquilinario) paralyzed the city for two days. The strike was defeated only after Chiari requested the help of U.S. troops stationed in the Canal Zone.

Chiari negotiated a new treaty with the United States in 1926, but it was never ratified by the National Assembly because of concern over one article that made Panama an instant ally of the United States whenever the latter became involved in an armed conflict.

See alsoPanama .


Manuel María Alba, Cronología de los gobernantes de Panamá, 1510–1967 (1967).

Manuel Octavio Sisnet, Belisario Porras o la vocación de la nacionalidad (1972).

Walter La Feber, The Panama Canal: The Crisis in Historical Perspective (1978).

Jorge Conte Porras, Diccionario biográfico ilustrado de Panamá, 2d ed. (1986).

Additional Bibliography

Córdoba Araba, Abel Abraham. 100 años de gobierno: Panama 1903–2003: Compendio cronológico de nuestros gobernantes. Panama: Imprenta Caribean, 2004.

                                 Juan Manuel PÉrez