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Oswaldo López

In office
1963 – 1971

In office
1972 – 1975

Born 30 June 1921
Danlí, Honduras
Political party National Party
Occupation General, statesman
Religion Roman Catholic

Oswaldo Enrique López Arellano (30 June 1921 - ) was twice President of Honduras from 1963-1971 and 1972-1975. He gained power by military force.

He was born in Danlí in El Paraíso Department to an influential family, son of Enrique López and Carlota Arellano. He attended the "American School of Tegucigalpa" where he learned to speak fluent English. He joined the Honduran army at eighteen, graduated as a pilot from the Honduran Air Force School, and spent 1942-1945 in Arizona studying mechanical aviation. López served as a colonel for a long time and eventually rose to the rank of general. He married Gloria Figueroa and they had five children: Gloria Carolina, Oswaldo, Enrique, Leonel and Jose Luis.

López served briefly on a military junta during 1957, which resigned after elections were held. He served as President for the first time from October 3, 1963 till June 7, 1971. He took office when he seized power in a military coup 10 days before presidential elections were due. He then allowed further elections to take place in April 1971 that saw Ramón Ernesto Cruz come to power. On December 4, 1972 López again seized power.

In 1975, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission exposed a scheme by United Brands Company to bribe Honduran President López with $1.25 million, with the promise of another $1.25 million upon the reduction of certain banana export taxes. Trading in United Brands stock was halted, and on April 22, 1975 López was ousted in a military coup lead by his fellow General Juan Alberto Melgar. This scandal is known in Honduras as "Bananagate".

Oswaldo López is currently an active businessman, owning several businesses around the Central American area. His eldest son, Oswaldo, died in 2003. He was the owner of TAN-SAHSA, the now bankrupt Honduran Airlines.


  • Pauly, David and Thomas, Rich (1975) "The Great Banana Bribe" Newsweek April 21, 1975, p. 76;

See also

Preceded by
Ramón Villeda
President of Honduras
Succeeded by
Ramón Ernesto Cruz
Preceded by
Ramón Ernesto Cruz
President of Honduras
Succeeded by
Juan Alberto Melgar
Head of State

Simple English

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