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Laureano Gomez

Laureano Eleuterio Gomez Castro was President of Colombia from 1950 to 1953, and long time leader of the Colombian Conservative Party.

Gomez was born into an aristocratic family in Bogota on February 20, 1889. He studied engineering at the National University of Colombia, graduating in 1909. He was the founder and editor of the periodical La Unidad from 1909 to 1916. He was first elected to parliament in 1911, serving until 1918. He was elected again in 1921 serving in various cabinet roles throughout the next twenty years. In 1932 Gomez gained control of the Conservative party in Colombia, a role which he relished. Under his leadership the party was highly disciplined, and provided strong opposition to the ruling Liberal Government. He was widely viewed as a brilliant parliamentarian and political tactician. In 1936 he founded the Colombian daily El Siglo.

He assumed the presidency in 1950 in an election in which the Liberals refused to participate. Gomez instituted authoritarian right-wing policies and suppressed the opposition and the courts. He suffered a heart attack in 1951. Although fearing for his life, he continued to control the government through a puppet successor. With public order collapsing in the face of Gomez' establishment of a dictatorship, the military seized power in 1953. Gomez fled to Spain.

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Biography of Gomez

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