Lemus, José María

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José María Lemus (hōsā´ märē´ä lā´mŏŏs), 1911–93, president of El Salvador (1956–60). An army lieutenant colonel, he served as minister of interior (1949–55). As president, he pardoned political prisoners and attempted to continue the progressive programs of his predecessor, President Oscar Osorio. A decline in the prices of coffee and cotton, however, brought strikes, political unrest, and violence. After an attempt was made to assassinate him, Lemus became increasingly harsh and dictatorial. He was deposed (Oct., 1960) by a leftist group and deported.