Guillermo León Valencia

Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera Popayán Cauca Department
Guillermo León Valencia
Guillermo Leon Valencia Munoz.jpg
21st President of Colombia
In office
7 August 1962 (1962-08-07) – 7 August 1966 (1966-08-07)
Preceded byAlberto Lleras Camargo
Succeeded byCarlos Lleras Restrepo
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia
In office
25 May 1953 (1953-05-25) – 13 June 1953 (1953-06-13)
PresidentRoberto Urdaneta Arbeláeza
Preceded byEvaristo Sourdis Juliao
Succeeded byJuan Uribe Holguín
Colombia Ambassador to Spain
In office
PresidentLaureano Gómez Castro
Preceded byFrancisco Umaña Bernal
Succeeded byAlejandro Galvis Galvis
Personal details
Guillermo León Valencia Muñoz

(1909-04-27)27 April 1909
Popayán, Cauca, Colombia
Died4 November 1971(1971-11-04) (aged 62)
New York City, New York, United States
Resting placeMuseo Guillermo León Valencia
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Susana López Navia (1931–1964)

Guillermo León Valencia Muñoz (27 April 1909 – 4 November 1971) was a Colombian politician, lawyer and diplomat who served as the 21st President of Colombia from 1962 to 1966.

Personal life

Valencia was born in Popayán, Cauca on April 27, 1909, to Colombian poet and politician Guillermo Valencia, and his wife Josefina Muñoz.[1] He attended highschool at the Colegio Champagnat [2] in Bogotá and graduated in December of 1946. On January 31, 1931 he married Susana López Navia, a 20-year-old secretary with whom he had four children: Pedro Felipe, Alma, Ignacio, and Diana.[3]

Political career

Valencia was elected to the city council of Popayán and the Assembly of Cauca. Later he was also elected to the City Council of Bogotá and worked as diplomat for Colombia to the United Nations and was appointed Colombia's Ambassador to Spain by President Laureano Gómez Castro.[4] In 1949 he was appointed by President Mariano Ospina Pérez as Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs but declined the offer.[5] However, four years later Valencia did accept the position and became Minister of Foreign Affairs on May 25, 1953, a post he held for the remainder of the administration of Roberto Urdaneta Arbeláez until General Rojas Pinilla took over.[6]

During the transitional government of the Military Junta that took power after the coup d'état that deposed General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, Valencia was under consideration to succeed the Junta. However, the political accord between the political forces of the time (in pursuit of a transition from a dictatorship to a democratic process), specified that a member of the Colombian Liberal Party succeed the Junta Militar. Consequently, Valencia had to wait until the following election. In 1962, Valencia was nominated by the Colombian Conservative Party as their candidate for the presidency, facing the liberal Alfonso López Michelsen. Valencia won: 1,636,081 votes to 625,630.


Valencia committed his administration to substantial economic and social reforms. On the economic front, he created the Junta Monetaria (Federal Reserve), doubled the production of electric power and promoted both oil drilling and the export of crude oil. In matters of social reform, his administration increased the national budget for education by 20%, and under the auspices of the government of the United States, launched the construction of Ciudad Kennedy, a project of 200,000 affordable homes for lower income citizens.


  1. ^ Méndez Valencia, María Alexandra. "Valencia, Guillermo". Gran Enciclopedia de Colombia del Círculo de Lectores (in Spanish). Luis Ángel Arango Library. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  2. ^ Tiempo, Casa Editorial El (2013-06-07). "El colegio Champagnat celebra sus 75 años". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  3. ^ Ríos Peñaloza, Gilma (August 1996). "Primeras Damas del Siglo XX" [First Ladies of the 20th Century]. Revista Credencial Historia (in Spanish). Bogotá: Biblioteca del Banco de la República (80). Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  4. ^ "Bogota Names Envoy to Spain". The New York Times. 1950-09-27.
  5. ^ González Díaz, Andrés (1982). "Ministros bajo la presidencia de Mariano Ospina Pérez" [Minister under the Presidency of Mariono Ospina Pérez]. Ministros del Siglo XX [Minister of the 20th Century] (in Spanish). Imprenta Nacional. OCLC 11225363. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  6. ^ González Díaz, Andrés (1982). "Ministros bajo la presidencia de Roberto Urdaneta Arbeláez" [Minister under the Presidency of Roberto Urdaneta Arbeláez]. Ministros del Siglo XX [Minister of the 20th Century] (in Spanish). Imprenta Nacional. OCLC 11225363. Retrieved 2010-02-15.