Quiroga, Jorge (1960–)

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Quiroga, Jorge (1960–)

The youngest vice president in Bolivia's history, Jorge Quiroga held the presidency for one year in 2001–2002 after the resignation of the ailing Hugo Banzer Suárez. Born May 5, 1960, in Cochabamba, Quiroga spent substantial time in the United States as a student of industrial engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station and business administration at Saint Edwards University in Austin, Texas. Prior to entering politics, he worked in the private sector in the United States and in Bolivia upon returning in 1988. He became an undersecretary in the Ministry of Planning in 1989 and rose to finance minister in 1992.

In 1993 Quiroga managed Banzer's unsuccessful bid for the presidency and later served as a deputy chief for the Acción Democrática Nacionalista (ADN; Nationalist democratic action) Party. Banzer chose him as running mate in their successful 1997 campaign. The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, honored the young vice president with its World Leader of Tomorrow award. In August 2001 Banzer was forced to resign and hand the presidency to Quiroga, who served out the remainder of Banzer's term until August 2002.

Quiroga continued Banzer's market orientation and controversial zero coca eradication policy, which helped fuel Bolivia's rising social discontent. After leaving office, he was scholar in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., and chaired the Unión de Partidos Latinoamericanos (UPLA, Union of Latin American Parties). Quiroga sought the presidency in 2005 as the PODEMOS (Poder Democrático y Social; Democratic and social power) party candidate, losing to leftist Evo Morales in the first round. Many voters considered him too conservative and too connected to the political establishment. He subsequently became president of the nongovernmental foundation, FUNDEMOS.

See alsoBanzer Suárez, Hugo; Bolivia: Bolivia Since 1825; Bolivia, Political Parties: Nationalist Democratic Action (ADN); Bolivia, Political Parties: Overview.


Van Cott, Donna Lee. "From Exclusion to Inclusion: Bolivia's 2002 Elections." Journal of Latin American Studies 35 (2003): 751-775.

                                    Robert R. Barr