Guillermo Ford

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Guillermo "Billy" Ford Boyd (born November 11, 1936 - March 19, 2011 in Panama City ) was a Panamanian politician .


Ford was the founder of the anti-militarist party Movimiento Liberal Republicano Nacionalista (MOLIRENA) and a staunch opponent of the military dictatorship under Manuel Noriega .

In the elections of May 7, 1989, he was a candidate for the office of Second Vice-President, while Guillermo Endara Galimany ran for the office of President of Panama and Ricardo Arias Calderón for the office of First Vice-President. Endara competed against the candidate of the Noriega regime, Carlos Duque . The supported US government Endaras campaign with 10 million US dollars . The election result, which showed Endara as the winner, was canceled by the government of Panama. Former US President Jimmy Carter , who acted as a neutral election observer , accused Noriega of manipulating the election results. Noriega's supporters replied that the presidential election had already been rigged by US support for the Endara campaign.

The elections were also overshadowed by arrests and harassment of the political opposition , the confiscation of their assets and pressure on members of the opposition to leave the country. Journalists and members of the opposition were also arrested without giving any reason.

During public demonstrations in which the opposition waved white handkerchiefs as a sign of peacefulness, Noriega ordered the so-called "Dignidad" battalions to be used to suppress the demonstrations. Noriega appointed Benjamin Colomarco , who later served as Minister of Public Works during the presidency of Martín Torrijos , to command the battalions .

During these demonstrations, Ford's car was also attacked, and his bodyguards were shot at and murdered. When Ford tried to escape, he was hit with metal pipes and the photograph of the bloodied politician was taken around the world after it appeared on the cover of Time magazine on May 22, 1989 .

After the US invasion of Panama on December 20, 1989 , Endara was able to take office as President and Ford as Second Vice President as well as Minister of Planning and Economic Policy and held them until the end of his regular term on September 1, 1994.

He served as Ambassador to the United States from 1999 to 2004 during Mireya Moscoso's presidency . In addition, he was involved in the Panamanian fire department until his death and was posthumously appointed First Lieutenant of his fire department.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Attack on Guillermo Ford (Iconic Photos)