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Violetta Chamorro – Nicaragua's First Woman President

They say there is a first for everything, and in Nicaragua, the honor goes to Violetta Chamorro. She was born on 8 October 1929 and became the wife of a popular journalist and publisher, Joaquin Chamorro. Her husband served time in prison for his articles that spoke of corruption and exposed many unsavory aspects of the Nicaraguan government. Tragically, Joaquin Chamorro was assassinated on 10 January 1978 and thereafter Violetta Chamorro would become a publisher and literary foot soldier in the fight against political corruption and for the hope of a brighter future in Nicaragua.

After the Somoza government was overthrown, Violetta Chamorro supported the new government by joining the Junta of National Reconstruction. It did not take her long to see that the man she had helped become president, Daniel Ortega, was amongst those who were believed to be squandering money for personal gain. Chamorro was unimpressed with the serious changes that she felt were necessary in Nicaragua to improve the lives of its citizens. Disgruntled, MS. Chamorro resigned from the Junta to start on her own political and social journey- one that would write her name in the history books.

In 1990, Violetta Chamorro ran for the position of president of Nicaragua and in that April she defeated Daniel Ortega to become the 48th President of Nicaragua and its first woman President. In her term, from 1990 to 1997, Chamorro implemented needed changes in her country - some of which criticized and others applauded. With the assistance and backing of the United States, Violetta Chamorra devoted her energies to healing the divide caused by civil war and strove to improve the economic well-being of the country and bring peace to the people of Nicaragua.

Violetta Chamorro also turned her attention to preserving the outdoors and nature by declaring three sections of the Miskito area as natural parks and 'nature reserves'. This event took place on 31 October 1991. The Bosawas Reserve and the Miskito Cays Coastal Reserve now form part of the 2.5 million hectares of protected land in Nicaragua. The fight to transform Nicaragua is an ongoing process that started with the strength of a housewife and the determination of a widow. Violetta Chamorro, or Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, is a woman that left her mark on the history of Nicaragua and will be remembered by future generations.


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