Robles, Marcos Aurelio (1905–1990)

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Robles, Marcos Aurelio (1905–1990)

Marcos Aurelio Robles (b. 8 November 1905; d. 29 April 1990), president of Panama (1964–1968). A native of Aguadulce, Robles was an active National Liberal Party (PLN) legislator and was appointed minister of the interior and justice in 1960. After being elected to the presidency as the candidate of the National Opposition Union (UNO), composed of the PLN and seven smaller parties, Robles took office 1 October 1964.

Robles, a banker, represented the business-planter elite that had dominated Panama since independence and, in many ways, since the Spanish conquest. He sought new economic development and especially promoted Panama as a Latin American banking center. He encouraged partial incorporation of Panama into the Central American Common Market, but his moderate efforts at tax reform and agrarian reform divided the Liberal Party. His unsuccessful attempt to secure a better treaty with the United States vis-à-vis the Panama Canal following the 1964 flag riots, charges of corruption, and failure to represent a wider constituency led to his impeachment by the National Assembly in 1968. Although the Supreme Court overturned the impeachment, Robles had become unpopular. After his coalition lost the 1968 election to Arnulfo Arias, Robles went into voluntary exile in the United States.

See alsoCentral American Common Market (CACM); Economic Development; Panama.


Richard F. Nyrop, ed., Panama: A Country Study (1980), pp. 37-43.

Additional Bibliography

Palmarola J., Verónica A. and Yamileth Z. Robles V. El proceso de reversión del Canal de Panamá y las áreas civiles y militares en el marco del Tratado del Canal de Panamá de 1977. Panamá: Editorial Universitaria (EUPAN), 1999.

Schneider, Ronald M. Latin American Political History: Patterns And Personalities. New York: Westview Press, 2006.

                            Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.