Torrijos Espino, Martín Erasto

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Martín Erasto Torrijos Espino, 1963–, Panamanian political leader, president of Panama (2004–), b. Panama City. The son of Gen. Omar Torrijos Herrera, he studied economics and political science at Texas A&M Univ and embarked on a business career. In 1999 he assumed leadership of the Democratic Revolutionary party (DRP). Torrijos served in the government of President Ernesto Pérez Balladares (1994–99) and ran unsuccessfully for president in 1999. In 2004, however, Torrijos defeated former president Guillermo Endara in a landslide to win the post. In 2007 Torrijos initiated the modernization and expansion of the Panama Canal.