Remón Cantera, José Antonio (1908–1955)

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Remón Cantera, José Antonio (1908–1955)

José Antonio Remón Cantera (b. 1 June 1908; d. 2 January 1955), president of Panama (1952–1955). Born into a prominent Panamanian family, Remón received a scholarship to attend the Military Academy in Mexico. After graduating third in his class in 1931, he returned to Panama and was made a captain in the National Police. Remón's attempts to reform and modernize the force were well received, and in 1947 he was made commandant. Under Remón, the National Police became the arbiter of Panama's political fate, making or breaking presidents at the will of the commandant.

In 1951, Remón made a bid for the presidency and, endorsed by a party of his own creation, won the 1952 elections with nearly half the votes. He immediately began a domestic campaign to bring order and prosperity to the country. During Remón's administration there were advances in education, health care, and commerce, but severe restrictions on political parties and labor unions earned him the reputation of dictator. Remón's greatest achievement while in office was the renegotiation of the 1903 Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty. The result of his efforts was the Eisenhower-Remón Treaty (1955), which gave Panama additional rights to Canal Zone revenues, ended discriminatory wage practices in the zone, and increased the annuity paid by the United States for the canal. Remón was assassinated in Panama City before the treaty was finalized.

See alsoEisenhower-Remón Treaty (1955); Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty (1903); Panama; Panama Canal.


Larry La Rae Pippin, The Remón Era (1964).

Manuel María Alba C., Cronología de los gobernantes de Panamá, 1510–1967 (1967).

Additional Bibliography

Romeu, José Vicente. Del caso Remón-Guizado. Panama City: Instituto Nacional de Cultura, Editorial Mariano Arosemena, 2000.

                                             Sara Fleming