Gándara Enríquez, Marcos (1915–)

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Gándara Enríquez, Marcos (1915–)

Marcos Gándara Enríquez (b. 1915), ideological leader of the military junta that assumed power in Ecuador in 1963. Born in Latacunga, Colonel (later General) Gándara, former director of the war academy and functional representative of the armed forces in the Senate, justified the military's assumption of power not simply as the product of contemporary conditions, including the military's perception of a rising threat of Communist subversion, but as a product of a long series of mistaken policies. The military assumed the responsibility for establishing new socioeconomic structures that would permit the evolution of democratic structures dedicated to serving the interests of all citizens.

During its first year in office, the junta suppressed political dissent, announced a series of development projects financed by U.S. loans, adopted a ten-year development plan proposed by the National Planning Board, approved an income tax, and issued an agrarian reform program. Although public opinion toward the junta was generally favorable at the end of its first year in office, the junta refused to develop political alliances or mobilize popular sectors to support its moderate reform program. The junta's rejection of partisan politics was rooted in its image of the military as the only truly national institution whose nonpartisan decisions would naturally generate public support.

Mounting economic problems during the second year of military rule quickly translated into growing public opposition expressed as demonstrations, strikes, and antigovernment media campaigns. By early 1966 the government faced daily challenges to its authority, frequently from students. Civilian politicians forged multiparty alliances that pressed for a return to constitutional government. The government's vacillating response to challenges, particularly from coastal economic and political elites, eroded support for continued military rule within the higher officer corps. A national strike and violent confrontations between students and the military at the Central University in Quito resulted in the fall of the government on 29 March 1966. Gándara went to Bolivia but later returned to Ecuador.

See alsoEcuador: Since 1830 .


República Del Ecuador, Plan político de la Junta Militar de Gobierno (1963); La Junta Militar de Gobierno y la opinión pública (1964).

Martin Needler, Anatomy of a Coup d'état: Ecuador 1963 (1964).

John Samuel Fitch, The Military Coup d'état as a Political Process: Ecuador, 1948–1966 (1977), esp. pp. 55-73.

Additional Bibliography

Blum, William, and William Blum. Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2004.

Velasco M., Lisímaco. Civiles + militares = (El hábito no hace al monje): Intento de golpe militar, a un gobierno militar nacido de un golpe, dado a un autogolpista. Ecuador: CCE Benjamin Carrión, 2004.

                              Linda Alexander RodrÍguez