Arnoldo Alemán

José Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo
Arnoldo Alemán.JPG
President of Nicaragua
In office
January 10, 1997 – January 10, 2002
Vice PresidentEnrique Bolaños Geyer (1997-2000)
Leopoldo Navarro Bermúdez (2000-2002)
Preceded byVioleta Barrios de Chamorro
Succeeded byEnrique Bolaños Geyer
President of the National Assembly of Nicaragua
In office
January 9, 2002 – September 19, 2002
Mayor of Managua
In office
April 26, 1990 – September 20, 1995
Preceded byCarlos Carrión Cruz
Succeeded byRoberto Cedeño
Personal details
Born (1946-01-23) January 23, 1946 (age 74)
Managua, Nicaragua
NationalityNicaraguan
Political partyConstitutionalist Liberal Party

José Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo (born January 23, 1946[1]) was the 81st President of Nicaragua from January 10, 1997 to January 10, 2002.[1] In 2003 he was convicted of corruption and sentenced to a 20-year prison term, and Transparency International named him the ninth most corrupt leader in recent history. Several years later, those convictions were overturned, though these decisions remain controversial.

Early life

Alemán was born in Managua and received his early education at the La Salle institute in Managua. His father was a prominent lawyer who was an associate of the 1970s Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle and served as Somoza's minister of education for a period, and the family owned a large coffee plantation south of Managua.[2]

In 1967 he graduated with a law degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua-León with specializations in regional economic integration and financial law. Between 1968 and 1979, he worked as a lawyer in the commercial and banking world. He became an official in the government of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. In 1980 he was arrested by the Sandinista junta, had some of his property seized and spent nine months in prison. The period of his arrest coincided with the death of his father. This kept him from attending his father's funeral.[3] After he was released from prison, he spent some time in the United States.

Upon his return to Nicaragua, Alemán became heavily involved in business, political, and academic activities. He was a member of the Consejo Superior de la Empresa Privada (COSEP, 1988–1990), vice-president of the Unión de Productores Agropecuarios de Nicaragua (UPANIC, 1986–1990). He was president of the Asociación de Cafetaleros de Managua (1983–1990); the Unión de Cafetaleros de Nicaragua (UNCAFENIC, 1986–1990); the Federación de Municipios de América Central (1992–1993) and of the Federación Municipal de Ciudades de Centroamérica (1993–1995). He also imparted conferences at Tulane University and at Florida International University in the United States.[3]