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Lafer, Horacio

LAFER, HORACIO

LAFER, HORACIO (1893–1965), Brazilian politician. Born in São Paulo, Lafer studied economics, philosophy, and law. He published several works including Contemporary Philosophic Tendencies (1929) and Credit and the National Banking System (1948). He was related to the *Klabin group, pioneering in the paper, pulp, and tile industries. Lafer was appointed Brazilian delegate to the League of Nations in 1928. He was founder of the Brazilian National Economic Development Bank, a governor of the World Bank, and presided at the International Monetary Fund conference in 1952.

In 1934, Lafer was elected to the Federal Chamber of Deputies where he remained for nearly 30 years. He was majority leader under President Dutra, and in 1951 became minister of finance under President Vargas. From 1959 to 1961 he served President Kubitschek as foreign minister.

He was active in Jewish affairs, especially with the Hebrew high school "Renascença," and was influential both in easing Brazil's immigration policy toward Jews and Brazil's vote at the un Assembly on Palestine, in 1947. He also fought against Nazi propaganda in Brazil.

Lafer was posthumously honored in a special session of the Federal Parliament; a school and a street were named in his honor.

[Alfred Hirschberg]

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