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Carlos Lemos Simmonds

Carlos Apolinar Lemos Simmonds was a Colombian politician and journalist that served as President and Vice President of Colombia in 1997. It is the only vice president of Colombia to become president in the Colombian Constitution of 1991 era under the statutes of the presidential line of succession, after President Ernesto Samper absented due to health problems.

Early years

Lemos went to middle school in the Colegio Champagnat in the city of Popayan for high school he went to the University of Cauca Liceum, he continue studying in this same institution until graduating as a lawyer. During these years Lemos married Maria Victoria Perez y Soto Bohorquez. In 1987 married Marta Blanco

Political career

After graduating Lemos worked as a Municipal Judge in the town of Piendamo, Cauca. He later transferred to Bogota where he was elected councilman in the early 1970s for three consecutives terms. He then run for the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia. During the government of President Julio Cesar Turbay Lemos was appointed as Secretary General of the Presidency of Colombia. In the same administration he was promoted to minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after that he was shifted to different ministries, Ministry of Government, Ministry of Telecomunications.

Lemos served later as Ambassador of Colombia to the Organization of American States (OAS), drafter of the Colombian Constitution of 1991, Ambassador of Colombia to Austria, Ambassador of Colombia to Great Britain, senator, vice president and president of Colombia temporarily.

As a member of the Colombian Foreign Affairs Commission contributed to resolve the dispute over San Andres y Providencia Islands in the Caribbean sea between Colombia and Nicaragua for territorial waters. He also negotiated the peace process with the M-19 guerrilla.


Lemos was also a notable journalist, writer and historian. He was a regular columnist for the Colombian newspaper El Espacio titled "Entre la Romana y el Pasaje" and also worked as its subdirector. Lemos founded the Diario Liberal newspaper and was once an owner of the Revista Consigna magazine.

Pueblished work


"Memorias de un antigobierno" (Memories of an antigovernment)

"El Estado Ladron" (The Thief State)

"El Rescate de la moral" (The Rescue of Moral)

"Turbay, de la Base a la Cumbre"


Newspaper articles

"Opinion" (Opinion), a column in El Tiempo newspaper.

Revista Diners, articles.

Diario Liberal, articles.


Conducted a political TV shows called "Mesa de Cafe" (Coffee table), "Debates Caracol" (Caracol Debates in Caracol TV) and "Fuerza de la Historia" (Force of History).


Lemos suffered from Cancer and his last days were spent in the Clinica del Country, hospitalized and decaying tired and losing weight. He finally died on July 30, 2003.


Colombia.com Carlos Lemos Simmonds biography

Presidency of Colombia; Carlos Lemos Simmonds biography

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