Biography of Harmodio Arias Madrid (1886-1962)

Politician, diplomat, lawyer, and Panamanian essayist, born in Penonomé (capital of the province of Coclé) on July 3, 1886, and died in Panama City in 1962. He/She was President of the Republic between January 2 and January 15, 1931, and, later, between October 1, 1932 and on September 30, 1936.

His parents, Antonio Arias and Carmen Madrid de Arias, a careful education, knowing the gifted intellectual who treasured the small Harmodio provided since his early childhood. Grew, humanist future surrounded by books and tutors that aroused especially his vocation towards artistic knowledge and the scope of the laws, and, as soon as he/she had finished his secondary education in Panamanian territory, was sent by their parents to Europe to expand his studies there and returned to his native country with a higher qualifications acquired at some prestigious university institution of the old continent.

He crossed, therefore the Atlantic Ocean and was first established in the English town of Southport (in the District of Sefton within Merseyside County), whose University School made a few early studies which then expanded at the University of Cambridge, where he/she graduated with a degree in arts and law. Before leaving the United Kingdom, Harmodio Arias Madrid decided to take advantage of the facilities and the quality of education provided him the English educational system to also obtain the title of Doctor of laws, this time granted by the University of London.

Back to his native country, embarked on a brilliant career in the world of law, the judiciary and politics, both in the field of private enterprise (worked for many years for the prestigious law firm Fabrega and Arias) as within the public sector, he/she served on numerous occasions and linked to the bodies and institutions more varied. His political career began in the bosom of the Liberal Party, which came to be a member and Minister of the Interior. In 1931, presided over the provisional Government after the Nationalist revolution of January 2 of that same year, that overthrew President Florencio Harmodio Arosemena. The following year he/she was elected President of Panama. In 1925 he/she founded the newspaper Panama America, which is still in operation at the beginning of the 21st century.

As President, he/she developed a work plan for public works which led to the construction of schools, public offices and sanitary works, allowing you to provide sewerage to some populations of the interior. In 1933, he/she made a trip to the capital of the United States of America in order to negotiate a new Treaty on the Panama Canal. On this trip he/she laid the foundations of the future Treaty Alfaro-Hull. On February 1, 1934 he/she left unharmed an assassination attempt, and in 1935 founded the University of Panama.

In 1936 he/she got his great goal: reviewing the use of the Panama Canal Treaties to achieve greater benefits from Panamanians. To this end, he/she signed the Treaty Alfaro-Hull whereby the United States increased its contribution to $430,000 Panamanian development; I also got to suppress the free movement of U.S. troops in Panama. Despite the success of the negotiations, he/she was defeated in the elections of 1936 by Juan Demóstenes Arosemena.

At the time that engaged in this intense public life de, Harmodio Arias Madrid (married to Rosario guard, and father of Harmodio, Roberto E., Rosario, Gilberto and Antonio) deployed a fruitful intellectual work that led him, among other positions within the istmeño cultural landscape, to the plaza de Professor of Roman and international law at the University of Panama. Its extraordinary presence in wide American intellectual and artistic forums led to its designation as a member of the Academy of history of Buenos Aires and Caracas) and of the Panamanian society of international law. In addition, it belonged to the finest forums of their nation, in which the political and economic progress of the country (such as the Golf Club and the Union Club of Panama) is determined daily. This pre-eminence of Harmodio Arias Madrid into life cultural, political, social and economic of the small Central American Republic was reinforced by their status as founder, director and owner of one of the rotating grasshoppers most widespread and influential of their era, America.

Given his British education, most of its factual texts (almost always focused on legal issues related to Panama and, in general, with all the Nations of the American subcontinent) are written in English language. Among them, mention should here graduates "Nacionality and Naturalism in Latin America" (London, 1910), "The Doctrine of Continuous Voyages" (London, 1910); "Contribution of Latin America to the Development of International Law" (London, 1911); "The Panama Canal: a Study in International Law and Diplomacy" (London, 1911); "The Non responsibility of States for Damages Suffered by Foreigners" (New York, 1912); and tax code (Barcelona, 1913).

In 1962 he/she died of a heart attack as he/she traveled by plane to the United States.