Méndez Montenegro, Mario (1912–1965)

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Méndez Montenegro, Mario (1912–1965)

Mario Méndez Montenegro (b. 30 November 1912; d. 31 October 1965), mayor of Guatemala City (1944–1948) and founder of the Partido Revolucionario (PR). Born in Santa Rosa, he interrupted his law studies, which he completed in exile, to participate in the October Revolution (1944). He served as undersecretary of the junta and as secretary general of the presidency under Juan José Arévalo (1945–1951). In 1947 he broke with the radicals in the Revolutionary Action Party (PAR) and reconstituted the center-left Popular Liberation Front (Frente Popular Libertador—FPL), which he had helped found in 1944.

In 1957 Méndez Montenegro organized the PR from among the moderate supporters of Arévalo. When the PR was denied legal registration for the elections of 1957, Méndez Montenegro supported the street demonstrations led by General Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes (president, 1958–1963) that annulled them. He became the legal PR candidate for the January 1958 electoral rerun and received 28 percent of the vote. Opposed both ideologically and politically to the Ydígoras Fuentes regime, he backed the 1963 military coup that overthrew Fuentes. He died from a gunshot wound in October 1965, shortly before being nominated as the PR presidential candidate for the elections of 1966. Whether Méndez Montenegro was assassinated or committed suicide remains unclear.

See alsoGuatemala, Political Parties: Revolutionary Action Party .


Francisco Villagrán Kramer, Biografía política de Guatemala: Los pactos políticos de 1944 a 1970 (1993).

                                           Roland H. Ebel

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Méndez Montenegro, Mario (1912–1965)

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