Lemus, José María

Lemus, José María

(hōsā` märē`ä lā`mo͝os), 1911–93, president of El Salvador (1956–60). An army lieutenant colonel, he served as minister of interior (1949–55). As president, he pardoned political prisoners and attempted to continue the progressive programs of his predecessor, President Oscar OsorioOsorio, Oscar
, 1910–69, president of El Salvador (1950–56). A peasant farmer, he joined the army and rose to the rank of major. As a member of the junta that seized power in 1948, he served as provisional executive until his election in 1950.
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. A decline in the prices of coffee and cotton, however, brought strikes, political unrest, and violence. After an attempt was made to assassinate him, Lemus became increasingly harsh and dictatorial. He was deposed (Oct., 1960) by a leftist group and deported.
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