Loss of a patriot
PANAMA. Guillermo David Endara Galimany was born in Panama in 1936. He studied pre-medicine, Accounting, Law and Political Science, an...
PANAMA. Guillermo David Endara Galimany was born in Panama in 1936. He studied pre-medicine, Accounting, Law and Political Science, and Anglo-American Law, before becoming a lawyer.
In 1961 he was one of the militant founding members of the Panameñista Party (PaPa) which came to power in 1968 when Endara became director general of Planning and Political Economy. He lasted just 10 days before a military coup brought General Omar Torrijos to power and Endara was listed as persona-non-grata. He was arrested by military police in 1969 and went into exile in the Canal zone, Guatemala and Miami. On returning to Panama in 1979, he became undersecretary general of PaPa but it wasn´t until 1989 that he was finally elected president. Noriega refused to recognize the vote and sent his forces to attack Endara and his vice-president Guillermo Ford as they took part in a victory march. Photographs of the bloody faces of the two appeared on TV screens and in newspapers around the world and were one of the reasons behind the US invasion in December 1989. Endara was finally sworn in as head of state on Dec. 20 1989.
As president, Endara inherited an empty treasury but by the end of his term had improved the economic situation and re-established democracy.
Widely expected to be a puppet of the Americans, Endara turned out to be more wily and Panamanians have much to be grateful for as he resisted both the pressure from corrupt colleagues and refused to imitate his dictatorial predecessor.