Alfonso López Pumarejo

Alfonso López Pumarejo ( born January 31, 1886 in Honda, Tolima, † November 20, 1959 in London) was a Colombian politician of the liberal Partido Liberal Colombiano and two-time President of Colombia.


López Pumarejo came from an economically and politically influential family in Colombia. His grandfather Ambrosio López was an entrepreneur and supporters of various political representatives such as José Hilario López, while his father Pedro Aquilino López Medina Treasury Minister ( Ministro del Tesoro ), Senator and Minister of Agriculture was.

He studied post-school at the London School of Economics and Political Science. After his return to Colombia in 1915, he began his political career as a member of the House of Representatives ( Cámara de Representantes ), in which he represented the liberal Partido Liberal Colombiano.

In 1930 he was one of the significant supporters of Enrique Olaya Herrera, who was elected the first liberal president of Colombia since 1886. This then appointed him ambassador in the United Kingdom, where he began a personal friendship with Oscar R. Benavides, the former President and former Ambassador of Peru in London.

1934 López Pumarejo eventually became first elected as a candidate of the Liberal president of Colombia and was able to call to mind prevail against his only opponent, communists Estiquio Timote. The personal friendship between him and the 1933 re- elected as President of Peru Oscar R. Benavides led to the termination of the Colombian - Peruvian war because of a territorial dispute around the town of Leticia in the Amazon by a Peace and Friendship protocol. 1936 issued his government to implement land reform a law that made ​​it possible to expropriate private property in the " social interest". Disgusted with the conduct of the representatives of the Liberal Party and the conservative Partido Conservador he offered in 1937 in Parliament ( Congresso ) his resignation, which was rejected by the two chambers of Parliament.

Due to the then existing constitution no renewed his presidential candidacy in 1938 was possible. However, he was re-elected President of Colombia in 1942 and was able to prevail in the presidential election against Carlos Arango Vélez, a former mayor of Bogotá. Between November 1943 and May 1944 he was almost continuously for medical treatment of his wife in the United States. After his return he intended to withdraw again, but gave up his resignation after the Senate had rejected the resignation. In July 1944, he was kidnapped during an attempted military coup of the insurgent military and detained for some time. In July 1945, he was subsequently abandoned for good. Then took over until the end of the regular term of office on August 7, 1946, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Alberto Lleras Camargo, the office as Acting President of Colombia.

In the years 1945, 1948 and 1958 he was the first Ambassador of Colombia to the United Nations President of the delegations to the General Assembly of the United Nations. Last López Pumarejo was again held in the UK from June 1959 until his death a few months later the ambassador.

In retrospect, his presidencies were he himself regarded as a time of great reforms and as one of the best presidents of Colombia in the 20th century. He was named in the Valledupar Airport Aeropuerto Alfonso López Pumarejo honor.

One of his sons, Alfonso López Michelsen, was from 1974 to 1978 also President of Colombia.