Julio César Turbay Ayala

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Julio César Turbay Ayala
25th President of Colombia
In office
7 August 1978 (1978-08-07) – 7 August 1982 (1982-08-07)
Preceded byAlfonso López Michelsen
Succeeded byBelisario Betancur Cuartas
Colombian Ambassador to Italy
In office
PresidentCésar Gaviria Trujillo
Preceded byOscar Mejía Vallejo
Succeeded byPlinio Apuleyo Mendoza
Colombian Ambassador to the Holy See
In office
PresidentVirgilio Barco Vargas
Succeeded byFernando Hinestrosa Forero
Colombian Ambassador to the United States
In office
29 April 1975 (1975-04-29) – 1976
PresidentAlfonso López Michelsen
Preceded byDouglas Botero Boshel
Succeeded byVirgilio Barco Vargas
12th Colombian Ambassador to the United Kingdom
In office
6 January 1973 (1973-01-06) – 15 January 1975 (1975-01-15)
PresidentMisael Pastrana Borrero
Preceded byCamilo de Brigard Silva
Succeeded byAlfredo Vásquez Carrizosa
11th Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations
In office
PresidentCarlos Lleras Restrepo
Preceded byAlfonso Patiño Rosselli
Succeeded byJoaquín Vallejo Arbeláez
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia
In office
7 August 1958 (1958-08-07) – 1 September 1961 (1961-09-01)
PresidentAlberto Lleras Camargo
Preceded byCarlos Sanz de Santamaría
Succeeded byJosé Joaquín Caicedo Castilla
24th Minister of Mines and Petroleum of Colombia
In office
11 May 1957 (1957-05-11) – 7 August 1958 (1958-08-07)
PresidentGabriel París Gordillo
Preceded byFrancisco Puyana
Succeeded byJorge Ospina Delgado
Personal details
Julio César Turbay Ayala

(1916-06-18)18 June 1916
Bogotá, D.C., Colombia
Died13 September 2005(2005-09-13) (aged 89)
Bogotá, D.C., Colombia
Political partyLiberal

Julio César Turbay Ayala (18 June 1916 – 13 September 2005) was the 25th President of Colombia from 1978 to 1982.

Biographic data[change | change source]

Turbay was born in a poor neighborhood on June 18, 1916. His father, Antonio Amín Turbay, was a businessman who emigrated from Tannourine, Lebanon.[1] His mother, Rosaura Ayala, was a peasant from the province of Cundinamarca. Turbay’s father was a hard working merchant who had built a fortune, which he completely lost during the civil war of the Thousand Days War.[2]

Presidency[change | change source]

1978 Security Statute[change | change source]

In response to an increase in guerrilla activity, a 1978 decree known as the Security Statute was implemented by Turbay's administration.

The Security Statute gave the military an increased degree of freedom of action, especially in urban areas, to detain, interrogate and eventually judge suspected guerrillas or their collaborators before military tribunals. Human rights organizations, newspaper columnists, political personalities and opposition groups complained about an increase in the number of arbitrary detentions and acts of torture as a result.

1980 Dominican embassy crisis[change | change source]

In late 1980, sixteen ambassadors were held hostage for 61 days as part of a takeover of the Dominican Republic's embassy. The incident soon spread throughout worldwide headlines, as ambassadors from the United States of America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Israel and Venezuela had been taken hostage, as well as Colombia's top representative to the Holy See.

Turbay, despite pressure from military and political sectors, avoided deciding to solve the crisis through the use of direct military force, and instead eventually agreed to let the M-19 rebels travel to Cuba. Allegedly, the rebels also received USD 1 million as payment, instead of the initial $50 million that they had originally demanded from the government.

Personal life[change | change source]

Turbay married his niece, Nydia Quintero Turbay, on July 1, 1948. They had four children together: Julio César, Diana, Claudia, and María Victoria. However, their marriage was annulled by the Roman Catholic Church, and in 1986 he married his longtime companion Amparo Canal, to whom he remained married until his death.

In January 1991, Turbay's daughter Diana was kidnapped by orders of the Medellín Cartel and died during a failed police rescue operation not sanctioned by her family. Her kidnapping is chronicled in News of a Kidnapping by the Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez (1996) and depicted in multiple onscreen productions.

Death[change | change source]

Turbay died on September 13, 2005. He was honored by a state funeral personally led by President Álvaro Uribe and was buried at the Sacromonte Caves at Canton Norte, an army base in Bogotá.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. EFE, Julio César Turbay Ayala, ex presidente de Colombia, El Mundo, September 15, 2005
  2. Arismendi Posada, Ignacio; Gobernantes Colombianos; trans. Colombian Presidents; Interprint Editors Ltd., Italgraf, Segunda Edición; Page 249; Bogotá, Colombia; 1983
  3. "Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala (1916-2005) - Find A". Find a Grave.

Other websites[change | change source]