Lleras Restrepo, Carlos

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Carlos Lleras Restrepo (kär´lōs lyā´räs rāstrā´pō), 1908–94, president of Colombia (1966–70). The son of a well-known bacteriologist, he was a lawyer and economist who served in a number of government posts in the 1930s and 1940s. He served as leader of the Liberal party during the bloody civil war touched off by the assassination (1948) of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. He became party leader again in 1961. As president, Lleras Restrepo won acclaim by sharply reducing the rate of inflation, diversifying the country's ailing one-crop (coffee) economy, restoring the balance of payments, and instituting a land reform program. After completing his term of office he remained politically active as head of the Liberal party. He wrote numerous books on social and economic problems.