Palacio, Alfredo (1939–)

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Palacio, Alfredo (1939–)

Luis Alfredo Palacio González, a cardiologist, became president of Ecuador in April 2005 after Congress voted to remove former president Lucio Gutiérrez. Palacio had served as vice president under Gutierrez (2003–2005), an administration that was widely criticized. After Gutiérrez disbanded the Supreme Court and declared a state of emergency in 2007, Ecuadorean citizens took to the streets to demand his resignation. Upon taking office Palacio promised to restore "a government of the people," but he faced a divided Congress and civil unrest.

Alfredo Palacio was born in Guayaquil on January 22, 1939. He graduated from medical school in Guayaquil (1967) and completed his residency training in cardiology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and hospitals in Missouri (1969–1974). A staunch independent, Palacio has never joined a political party. He served as Minister of Health under Sixto Durán-Bellén from 1994 to 1996.

When Palacio was appointed in 2005 he became Ecuador's eighth president in ten years. In 2006 he was nominated to be director-general of the World Health Organization. Palacio declined the nomination, stating that he wanted to focus on finishing his presidency. During his brief term in office he tried to issue a referendum on constitutional reform, but the electoral court blocked it. He finished his mandate on January 14, 2007, and was succeeded by the economist Rafael Correa.

See alsoArgentina, Political Parties: Socialist Party .


"Alfredo Palacio González." Fundació Cidob: Centro de Investigación de Relaciones Internacionales y Desarrollo. Available from

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

Weitzman, Hal. "Ruling Could Force Ecuador President Out of Office." Financial Times, October 20, 2005.

                                 Suzanne Casolaro