José López Portillo

José López Portillo
Jose Lopez Portillo new.jpg
51st President of Mexico
In office
December 1, 1976 – November 30, 1982
Preceded byLuis Echeverría
Succeeded byMiguel de la Madrid
Secretary of Finance and Public Credit
In office
May 29, 1973 – September 22, 1975
PresidentLuis Echeverría Álvarez
Preceded byHugo B. Margáin
Succeeded byMario Ramón Beteta
Director of the Comisión Federal de Electricidad
In office
February 18, 1972 – May 29, 1973
Preceded byGuillermo Villarreal Caravantes
Succeeded byArsenio Farell Cubillas
Personal details
José Guillermo Abel López Portillo y Pacheco

(1920-06-16)June 16, 1920
Mexico City, Mexico
DiedFebruary 17, 2004(2004-02-17) (aged 83)
Mexico City, Mexico
Resting placeCemeterio Militar
Mexico City, Mexico
Political partyInstitutional Revolutionary Party
Carmen Romano
(m. 1951; div. 1991)

Alma materNational Autonomous University of Mexico

José Guillermo Abel López Portillo y Pacheco, (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse ˈlopes poɾˈtiʝo]; June 16, 1920 – February 17, 2004) was a Mexican lawyer and politician affiliated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who served as the 51st President of Mexico from 1976 to 1982. López Portillo was the only official candidate in the 1976 Presidential election, being the only President in recent Mexican history to win an election unopposed.

López Portillo was the last of the so-called economic nationalist Mexican presidents.[1] His tenure was marked by heavy investments in the national oil industry after the discovery of new oil reserves, which propitiated initial economic growth, but later gave way to a severe debt crisis after the international oil prices fell down, leading Mexico to declare a sovereign default in 1982.[2] As a result of the crisis, the last months of his administration were plagued by widespread capital flight, leading López Portillo to nationalize the banks three months before leaving office.[3] His presidency was also marked by widespread government corruption and nepotism.[4][5]

Shortly after leaving office, during the presidency of his successor Miguel de la Madrid, numerous officials who had worked under the López Portillo administration were prosecuted for corruption, the most notorious cases being Arturo Durazo and Jorge Díaz Serrano. Although López Portillo himself was suspected of having been involved in corruption as well, he was never charged with any crimes.[6][5]

Early life and education

López Portillo was born in Mexico City, to his father José López Portillo y Weber (1888–1974), an engineer, historian, researcher, and academic, and to Refugio Pacheco y Villa-Gordoa. He was the grandson of José López Portillo y Rojas, a lawyer, politician, and man of letters. He was the great-great-great grandson of José María Narváez (1768–1840), a Spanish explorer who was the first to enter Strait of Georgia, in present-day British Columbia, and the first to view the site now occupied by Vancouver.[citation needed] He studied law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) before beginning his political career.

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