José López Portillo

President of Mexico
José López Portillo José López Portillo y Pacheco (June 16, 1920 – February 17, 2004) was the 51st President of Mexico from 1976 to 1982. Born in Mexico City, López Portillo studied Law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) before beginning his political career with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 1959. He held several positions in the administrations of his two predecessors before being appointed to serve as finance minister under Luis Echeverría, a close friend, from 1973 to 1975. López Portillo undertook an ambitious program to promote Mexico's economic development with revenues stemming from the discovery of new petroleum reserves in the states of Veracruz and Tabasco by Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the country's publicly owned oil company. López Portillo undertook actions which were highly controversial with respect to the international banking establishment. One of his last actions as president, announced during his annual State of the Nation address on September 1, 1982, was to order the nationalization of the country's banking system. López Portillo was the last nationalist president to emerge from the ranks of the PRI. Subsequent presidents have all been advocates of free trade (librecambismo). His opponents internationally and domestically accused López Portillo of "rampant corruption," "excessive overseas borrowing," galloping inflation (which continued with his successor), and responsibility for devaluations of the peso. His obituary in the New York Times referred to his well publicized generosity toward his one time mistress, Rosa Luz Alegría as "a symbol of the era's political decadence". He bought her a US$2 million mansion in Acapulco.

Personal facts

Given name
Family name
Lopez Portillo
Birth date
Birth place
Mexico City
Death date
Place of death
Mexico City
External link

Politics facts

Office positions
President of Mexico
Political parties
Institutional Revolutionary Party

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