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Belisario Porras Barahona ( Las Tablas, Republic of New Granada ,

November 28, 1856 - Panama , August 28, 1942 ) was a lawyer, architect ,
writer, poet, teacher, diplomat, military, political and Panamanian journalist .
He was president of Panama three times ( 1912-1916 , 1918-1920 , 1920-1924.)


Belisario Porras Barahoma was born to Demetrio Porras Cavero and Juana
Gumersinda Barahona. Belisario married twice. First to Alicia Castro, whom
he had 4 children with, and later on Eva Paniza Arosemena whom he had 6
children with. (YESSENIA)
He studied in Bogot and Belgium , and to finalize settled in Central America
where he worked as a lawyer and law professor. (YESSENIA)
After major setbacks suffered by the Liberals during the War of a Thousand
Days, they launched an offensive in the Panamanian isthmus headed by
Belisario Porras. With the support of Nicaraguan President Jose Santos
Zelaya exiles departed by sea from Burica tip 31 March 1900. Three days later
defeated the garrison of David and went to the city of Panama, but the delay
gave time for the General Victor Salazar fortify the defenses of the capital of
the department and then failed to occupy it. (SANDY)
He went into exile in El Salvador after the signing of peace in 1902, where he
opposed the treaty between the United States and Colombia for the
construction of a canal and the creation of an independent country in the
region, considering it an attack sovereignty, honor and economy of
Colombia. Four months before the independence of Panama published an
article entitled canaleras Reflections or sale of the isthmus (Constitutional,
July 18, 1903) in which he stated that accessed the separation, his country
would fall into "the clutches of the Empire the United States of America.
He returned to Panama City in 1904 where he was elected municipal
councilor and later president of the municipality. But the following year the
Supreme Court withdrew Panamanian nationality for their initial opposition
to the independence of the country and its enemies they described as a
traitor. (MELINDA)
In 1906 he applied for the return of their rights and in 1907 the National
Assembly has reinstated the nationality. In that same year he was appointed
a delegate to the International Court of La Haya. In 1909,with the mission of
contributing to the resolution of border disputes in Central America, was
appointed Minister of Panama in Costa Rica and in 1910 minister in
Washington DC, during the Pablo Arosemena Presidency. (MELINDA)
From 1910 he became one of the main leaders of the Liberal Party, along with
Rodolfo Chiari and Carlos A. Mendoza, party for which he was elected three
times President (1912-1916, 1918-1920, 1920-1924). (IVELISSE)
At a time when Panama had large institutional and infrastructural
deficiencies, in the exercise of the presidency Porras drove the
implementation of major public works, new laws, creation and reform of
organizations and institutions: national roads, Barrio Exhibition (where in
1915 universal exhibition took place), nursing Children, Plaza Francia, rail
Chiriqui jail Model, National Bank, nationalization of the National Lottery,
Post Office building reconstruction, colonization of San Blas, El Javillo,
reconstruction of telegraph lines, National Archives, Civil and Public
Registry, National Codes and St. Thomas hospital (opened in 1924), which
was his most important legacy; but not before receiving ridicule and
discredit political opponents who will be cataloged incompetent and

needlessly wasting a great "White Elephant", because in those years the

Santo Tomas Hospital was colossal. (IVELISSE)

He tried to renegotiate the terms of the Canal Treaty and during its last
presidency Coto faced war with Costa Rica, by a border dispute. (YAEL)
In 1942 at age 85, time proved him right by building a big hospital; St.
Thomas; so much so that in 1942 the Panamanian population tripled and
ironically there was no bed for her creator. He had to be held at the National
Hospital where he died surrounded by the love of their families and
supporters. Several national historical monuments have been erected in his
memory: the house where he was born and raised was turned into the
Museum Belisario Porras, the Pausilipo (his house) farm school 'President
Porras' in Las Tablas and school "Dr. Belisario Porras "in the district of San
Francisco, province of Panama. Also in the capital city Santo Tomas hospital,
opened in 1924 during its last presidency, was declared a national historic
monument. Today it is one of the most memorable presidents of Panama to
the point that his legacy is immortalized many generations of Panamanians
who consider him the nickname "The Architect of the Nation". (YAEL)