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Endara, Guillermo (1936–)

Endara, Guillermo (1936–)

Guillermo Endara was born in Panama City, Panama, on May 12, 1936. Like many Panamanians of his generation, his parents were immigrants who fought to establish their position within the country's growing middle class. After attending primary school in Panama City, he completed his secondary education at a military institute in the United States. Now fully bilingual, he returned to his home country, where he studied law and political science at the University of Panama. Upon graduation, he began his career teaching at the university and working in a private law firm.

Endara is an important figure in the history of his country and in Panamanian politics for a number of reasons. First, he was one of the main political allies of Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid, a legendary populist who dominated the political arena (whether in or out of power) from the 1930s until his death in the late 1980s. Second, he played a critical role as a member of the political opposition during the 1970s and 1980s in the effort to remove the military government that ruled the country from 1968 until 1989. And finally, Endara is important because of his positive impact as civilian president following the U.S. armed invasion that ended the rule of military dictator Manuel Noriega in 1989.

As president of the Republic of Panama from 1989 to 1994, Endara had to weather several attempted coups by disgruntled former military officers. Once the survival of his government was assured, he set about restoring the economic health of the country. However, his role in Panamanian politics did not end there. He remained active following his presidential term, first as an important participant in the government of President Mireya Moscoso (1999–2004) by giving it more legitimacy and continuity, and later as a candidate in the 2004 presidential election. Over the years, he has also remained an influential member of Panama's academic and business communities.

See alsoArias Madrid, Arnulfo; Noriega Moreno, Manuel Antonio.


"Guillermo Endara Galimany." Fundacio CIDOB (Centro de investigacion, docencia, documentacion y divulgacion de Relaciones Internacionales y Desarrollo, Barcelona, Espana). Available from

Scranton, Margaret E. The Noriega Years: U.S.-Panamanian Relations, 1981–1990. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1991.

                                           Steve C. Ropp

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