Ospina Pérez, Mariano (1891–1976)

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Ospina Pérez, Mariano (1891–1976)

Mariano Ospina Pérez (b. 24 November 1891; d. 14 April 1976), president of Colombia (1946–1950). From a prominent Medellín family, and grandson of the Conservative president Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, Ospina received an engineering degree in Medellín and later studied in the United States. As head of the powerful coffee-growers' federation in the 1930s, Ospina often clashed with the Liberal government; but as a Conservative moderate he opposed the extremism of that party's leader, Laureano Gómez. Elected president in 1946 over the divided Liberals, Ospina proclaimed a "National Union" government with Liberal participation; but as the partisan violence known as the Violencia spiraled out of control in much of Colombia, the accord collapsed. Ospina only narrowly survived the uprising that followed the assassination of Liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán on 9 April 1948. On 9 November 1949 Ospina dissolved the Congress and imposed rigid press censorship, installing a Conservative dictatorship that lasted until the military coup of 13 June 1953. Ospina, like other protagonists of Colombia's political breakdown, supported the bipartisan National Front accord of 1957. In 1954 he founded the Bogotá financial newspaper La República.

See alsoColombia, Political Parties: Conservative Party; Violencia, La.


John Martz, Colombia: A Contemporary Political Survey (1962).

Hernán Jaramillo Ocampo, 1946–1950: De la Unidad Nacional a la Hegemonía Conservadora (1980).

Ignacio Arizmendi Posada, Presidentes de Colombia 1810–1990 (1990), pp. 249-254.

Additional Bibliography

Cacua Prada, Antonio. Don Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, fundador del conservatismo colombiano: 1885–1985. Bogotá: Editorial Kelly, 1985.

Lozano, Miguel Angel, and Catalina Reyes Cárdenas. Mariano Ospina Pérez: Un hombre de acción y de principios. Bogotá: Editorial el Globo, 1991.

Meisel Lanner, Roberto. Ospina Pérez, o, La dignidad de la majestad presidencial. Bogotá: Editorial Imagen Impresa, 1994.

Ocampo Marín, Héctor. Biografía del Presidente Mariano Ospina Pérez. Bogotá: Senado de la República, 1994.

                                       Richard J. Stoller