Biography of José Antonio Remón Cantera (1908-1955)

Military and Panamanian politician born in June 1908 and died on January 2, 1955. He held the Presidency of the Republic from 1 October 1952 until September 26, 1953; 8 of October, 1953 to September 3, 1954 and from September 9, 1954 to January 2, 1955.

He studied at the Instituto Nacional before starting his military career in Mexico, where he was a cavalry officer, and the United States. In 1931 he entered the national police of Panama, and since the 1940s, Remón Cantera became the most powerful figure in the country. From his position in front of the police headquarters, after the departure of Rogelio Fábrega, had succeeded in creating a United and homogeneous body making gala provide absolute loyalty to his maximum superior and that, in practice, imposed their law on civilian power. Nothing of what was happening in the Panamanian political sphere he escaped to the Remon control at your convenience, settling and rising politicians in the presidential chair. It also had the full support of the United States and in Washington its name was shuffled to become head of a Government aligned with the thesis of the doctrine Truman.

Panama lived difficult years for depression, and postwar economic stagnation and high unemployment rate caused continuous strikes and demonstrations. In this climate of widespread dissatisfaction, were held on May 11, 1952 presidential elections that gave a landslide victory to the former Commander Remón Cantera and his Vice-Presidents José Ramón Guizado and Ricardo Arias Espinosa. Institutionalized police power, the new President printed order and stability to the country with an iron-fisted control of the press and of the movements of opposition, an absolute sacrifice of individual freedoms and the subjugation of the powers of the State. Became the American economic support and reform the tax system and the economy could show a positive behavior after several years of regression.

Staunch Communists and clearly positioned on the United States in the cold war, enemy managed to eliminate on the national political scene leaning parties. In 1953 became a police National Guard, a new body with effective older and better equipment weapons, and laid the groundwork for a new revision of the Treaty of the Canal with its American allies.

On January 2, 1952, the President was killed and immediately be ordered the arrest of his main political enemies. José Ramón Guizado became his successor and requested the help of foreign experts to solve the assassination. Ten days later, the lawyer Rubén Miró Guardia confessed to being the author of the murder and accused to already President Guizado as an accomplice and intellectual author of the crime. Despite not having any evidence about the veracity of these allegations, the National Assembly dismissed Guizado and sentenced him to seven years in prison. The own guard Miró retracted during the trial of his opening statement and claimed that he had acted under threat, but none of the Panamanian political powers was interested in rehabilitating the figure of Guizado.