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Balbina Del Carmen Herrera Araúz is a Panamanian politician and presidential candidate in the Panamanian general election, 2009. On May 3rd, 2009, she lost the race to the presidency of the Republic of Panama to center-right candidate Ricardo Martinelli.

Career

She finished studies in the National Institute and the University of Panamá, where she obtained her Bachelor Degree with honours in Agronomy Engineering. She also holds post-graduate studies in education.

She started her political Career as Member of the Panamanian Student Federation and joined the Partido Revolucionario Democrático in 1979, the largest political party in Panama.

She was a close collaborator of Manuel Antonio Noriega during his rule in the 1980's. She was involved in the leadership of the Dignity Battalions, Noriega's regime militias and para-military squads, and publicly made severe statements against the Civil Rights and Pro-democracy movement, called "Civilistas". At least one Civilista was shot and killed by a member of one of these Battalions during anti-Noriega demonstration in San Miguelito.

She has served as Mayor of San Miguelito, Legislator, and Minister of Housing in the Cabinet of President Martin Torrijos. She was the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) candidate for President of Panama in the election, held on May 3, 2009. She won her party's primary on September 7, 2008[1] with 49% of the vote, defeating Panama City Mayor Juan Carlos Navarro. If elected, she would have become Panama's second female president.[1] However, Herrera lost to Ricardo Martinelli, the candidate of the opposition coalition's led by his "Democratic Change" party.

References

  1. ^ a b Kathia Martinez, "Panama's ruling party picks woman for president", Associated Press, September 8, 2008.

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