Manuel Esquivel

George Cadle Price Dean Barrow Elmira Minita Gordon

Sir Manuel Esquivel

Manuel Esquivel.jpg
Esquivel in 1993
2nd Prime Minister of Belize
In office
17 December 1984 – 7 September 1989
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralElmira Minita Gordon
DeputyCurl Thompson
Preceded byGeorge Cadle Price
Succeeded byGeorge Cadle Price
In office
3 July 1993 – 30 August 1998
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralElmira Minita Gordon
Colville Young
DeputyDean Barrow
Preceded byGeorge Cadle Price
Succeeded bySaid Musa
Leader of the Opposition
In office
7 September 1989 – 3 July 1993
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralElmira Minita Gordon
Prime MinisterGeorge Cadle Price
Preceded byFlorencio Marin
Succeeded byGeorge Cadle Price
Member of the Belize House of Representatives for Caribbean Shores
In office
14 December 1984 – 27 August 1998
Preceded by(constituency created)
Succeeded byJose Coye
Personal details
Born (1940-05-02) 2 May 1940 (age 80)
Belize City, British Honduras
(now Belize)
Political partyUnited Democratic Party (1973–present)
Liberal Party (1969–1973)
Spouse(s)Kathy Esquivel

Sir Manuel Amadeo Esquivel, KCMG, PC (born 2 May 1940) is a Belizean politician. As leader of the United Democratic Party, he served as Prime Minister from 1984 to 1989, and then again from 1993 to 1998.


Esquivel was born in Belize City when it was the capital of the British Crown Colony of British Honduras. He attended St John's College and later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics at Loyola University New Orleans; he subsequently pursued postgraduate studies in physics at Bristol University, England.

After the 1969 British Honduras election Esquivel became head of the pro-business Liberal Party, which merged with two other parties in 1973 to form the United Democratic Party.[1] Esquivel was the UDP nominee for the Belize House of Representatives in the Freetown constituency in the 1979 election, but was defeated by then-Premier of Belize George Cadle Price.[2] He was instead appointed as a minority member of the Belize Senate.[3] Esquivel defeated Philip Goldson for the open UDP leadership post in January 1983, becoming the first and thus far only politician to be elected leader of a major Belizean political party as a senator. Acting opposition leader Curl Thompson stayed on as the UDP's House leader until the next election.[1]

Esquivel won election to the House of Representatives from the newly created Belize City-based Caribbean Shores constituency in December 1984, becoming prime minister for the first time shortly thereafter.[4] He held the seat until the 1998 election, in which he was defeated by the PUP's Jose Coye.[5]

Esquivel was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II in 1986. This life-time appointment confers the title "Right Honourable". He also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Loyola University.

After the UDP won the February 2008 election, Esquivel was appointed by Prime Minister Dean Barrow as senior advisor to government with the rank of minister on February 12, 2008.[6]

Esquivel is married to wife Kathleen (Kathy), with three children. Daughter Laura has followed in her father's footsteps as a public servant, and now serves as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Belize in Washington DC.

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 2010 New Year Honours.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b United Democratic Party, Countrystudies.us. (accessed 10 October 2014)
  2. ^ General Elections 1979, Belize Elections and Boundaries Commission. (accessed 9 October 2014)
  3. ^ EMBRACING History: Dr. Manuel Esquivel AmbergrisCaye.com. (accessed 9 October 2014)
  4. ^ General Elections 1984 Belize Elections and Boundaries Commission. (accessed 9 October 2014)
  5. ^ General Elections 1998 Belize Elections and Boundaries Commission. (accessed 9 October 2014)
  6. ^ "Prime Minister Dean Barrow announces new Cabinet", The San Pedro Sun, Vol. 18, No. 7, February 14, 2008.
  7. ^ "No. 59289". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2009. p. 41.