Laurentino Cortizo

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Laurentino Cortizo
Cortizo in 2022
38th President of Panama
Assumed office
1 July 2019
Vice PresidentJose Gabriel Carrizo
Preceded byJuan Carlos Varela
Minister of Agricultural Development
In office
1 September 2004 – 10 January 2006
PresidentMartín Torrijos
Preceded byLynette Stanziola
Succeeded byGuillermo Salazar
President of the National Assembly
In office
1 September 2000 – 31 August 2001
Preceded byEnrique Garrido
Succeeded byRubén Arosemena
Personal details
Born (1953-01-30) 30 January 1953 (age 70)
Panama City, Panama
Political partyDemocratic Revolutionary Party
SpouseYazmín Colón de Cortizo
Alma materNorwich University (B.B.A.)
University of Texas at Austin (M.B.A.)

Laurentino "Nito" Cortizo Cohen (Spanish pronunciation: [lawɾenˈtino koɾˈtiso ˈko.en]; born 30 January 1953) is a Panamanian politician who has served as the President of Panama since 2019. Cortizo is the former President of the National Assembly[1] and Minister of Agricultural and Livestock Development. He was also a member of the National Assembly between 1994 and 2004, serving a year as chamber president.[2]

A member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party, he was elected as president in the 2019 general election, winning 33.27% of the vote.[3] He took office on 1 July 2019.

Early life and education[edit]

Laurentino Cortizo Cohen was born in Panama City to Laurentino Cortizo, a Galician from Beariz, Spain, and Esther Cohen, of Jewish descent.[4]

The eldest of six siblings, Cortizo attended Javier Elementary School and completed his secondary education at La Salle College in Diriamba, Nicaragua. He then went on to attend the Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania. After this, he studied at Norwich University in Vermont, the oldest military college in the United States. Cortizo then attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning a master's degree in business administration and later a doctorate.[5]

Early career[edit]

After graduation, Cortizo moved to Washington, D.C., in 1981 to work as a technical advisor to the secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS).[5]

In November 1986, Cortizo assumed the role of Panama's alternate ambassador to the OAS. During that time, he was a member of the budget committee and the working group for the private sector. In addition, Cortizo chaired the working group for development problems of the states of the Central American isthmus and the permanent executive committee of the economic and social council.[6]

Political career[edit]

Cortizo served as a member of the National Assembly from 1994 to 2004 and is described as being from the centrist wing of his party.[7] He became President of the National Assembly in 2000, serving until 2001.[2]

He also served as Minister of Agricultural and Livestock Development under President Martín Torrijos, however he resigned in 2006 due to his objections to the negotiations made in pursuit of the US-Panama Free Trade Agreement.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Cortizo is married to Yazmín Colón de Cortizo. They have two children, Carolina and Jorge. Carolina is currently the director of Wingo that is part of Copa Airlines.[8]

In June 2022, Cortizo was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome.[9]

Cortizo is a devout Roman Catholic and often reads the Bible.[10]


  1. ^ Sáez, Manuel Alcántara; Freidenberg, Flavia, eds. (2001). Partidos políticos de América Latina. Centroamérica, México y República Dominicana. Universidad de Salamanca. p. 561. ISBN 9788478008377.
  2. ^ a b PALABRAS LLANAS - 50 años de visión y Compromiso (1906-2006)
  3. ^ "Cortizo wins Panama election". 6 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  4. ^ "La sangre ourensana de Panamá" (in Spanish). 9 September 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  5. ^ a b Bermúdez Valdés, Julio. "Laurentino Cortizo Cohen devuelve la confianza al sector agropecuario". Panamá América (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  6. ^ "Presidente de la República de Panamá". (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Panama elections: Centrist Laurentino Cortizo declared winner". Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Wingo anuncia a Carolina Cortizo como su nueva Directora General". Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Panama's president diagnosed with rare blood disorder". Reuters. 20 June 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  10. ^ "Cortizo: sería irresponsable juzgar a la Presidenta Moscoso". Retrieved 9 August 2022.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Enrique Garrido
President of the National Assembly
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Lynette Stanziola
Minister of Agricultural Development
Succeeded by
Guillermo Salazar
Preceded by President of Panama
Party political offices
Preceded by PRD nominee for President of Panama
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