Mahuad, Jamil (1949–)

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Mahuad, Jamil (1949–)

Jamil Mahuad, an Ecuadorian political leader, was born in Loja on July 29, 1949, to a Lebanese father and German mother. He received his doctorate in jurisprudence and law from the Catholic University of Ecuador in 1979 and a master's in public administration from Harvard University in 1989. After fifteen years in Guayaquil, Mahuad moved to Quito in 1981, where he joined the conservative Popular Democracy (DP) party. He served as minister of labor under Osvaldo Hurtado in 1983–1984. He was elected mayor of Quito in 1992 and, after receiving much support for installing a trolley car system, was reelected in 1996.

In 1998 Mahuad was elected president of the republic. During his brief presidency he reached a definitive peace agreement with Peru (following a war in 1995) and conceded the use of an Ecuadorian military base to the United States as part of the controversial "Plan Colombia." Amid economic crisis, he initiated a number of unpopular austerity measures: privatization, dollarization, a freezing of private bank accounts, an increase in the value added tax (IVA), and the elimination of gasoline subsidies. After seventeen months in office he was removed by a military coup (January 2000) and replaced by his vice president, Gustavo Noboa. Mahuad took "temporary absence" in Peru and later Chile. In July 2000 the supreme court of Ecuador indicted him on violations of constitutional rights and corruption on several counts. However, he had already taken up residency in the United States, where he became a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, giving lectures on political ethics.

See alsoNoboa, Gustavoxml .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Gerlach, Allen. Indians, Oil, and Politics: A Recent History of Ecuador. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2003.

"Jamil Mahuad Witt." Fundació Cidob: Centro de Inves-tigación de Relaciones Internacionales y Desarrollo. http://www.cidob.org/es/documentacion/biografias_lideres_politicos/america_del_sur/ecuador/jamil_mahuad_witt.

                                  Suzanne Casolaro

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