Gustavo Rojas Pinilla

Rojas Pinilla, Gustavo (gōstäˈvō rōˈhäs pēnēˈyä) [key], 1900–1975, president of Colombia (1953–57). As head of the armed forces he led the coup that ousted President Laureano Gómez in 1953. He ruled as a dictator, brutally suppressing all opposition. His attempted fiscal reforms failed, and his administration was riddled with corruption. In 1957 he was deposed by a military junta backed by both liberals and conservatives. He and his daughter, María Eugenia Rojas de Moreno (a senator), subsequently organized the National Popular Alliance, a political party with broad support among the urban poor. He ran for president in 1970, losing by only 11/2% of the vote. Ill health forced his retirement in 1973. His daughter ran unsuccessfully for president in 1974.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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