Tomas Altamirano Duque

This article is about the Panamanian vice president. For his son, see Tomás Altamirano Mantovani.
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Altamirano and the second or maternal family name is Duque.
Tomas Altamirano Duque
First Vice President of Panama
In office
September 1, 1994  September 1, 1999
President Ernesto Pérez Balladares
Preceded by Guillermo Ford
Succeeded by Arturo Vallarino
Personal details
Nationality Panamanian
Political party Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD)
Children Tomás Altamirano Mantovani

Tomas Altamirano Duque is a Panamanian politician who served as First Vice President of Panama from September 1, 1994 to September 1, 1999, under President Ernesto Pérez Balladares.

In the 1960s, Altamirano was imprisoned on fraud charges related to his government position. Military ruler Omar Torrijos pardoned him after he spent five months in jail.[1] He later became a friend of military ruler Manuel Noriega. In June 1989, Altamirano was nominated by Noriega to become the administrator of the Panama Canal.[2] However, in December, only two weeks before the US invasion that would remove Noriega from office, US President George H.W. Bush ignored the nomination and appointed Fernando Manfredo.[3]

In 1994, Altamirano became vice president of Panama under Pérez Balladares. He was one of more than 200 people pardoned by the new president for actions during Noriega's rule, an action Pérez Balladares called a step toward national reconciliation.[4]

Altamirano was the publisher of the The Star and Herald of Panama City, which was the oldest English-language newspaper in Latin America until its 1987 closing. The paper's editor, Altamirano's cousin Jose Gabriel Duque, accused him of closing the paper because it had continued to cover opposition groups after the closing of independent media earlier in the year.[5] He also was director-publisher of the daily Spanish-language newspaper La Estrella de Panamá, which in 1989 was Panama's largest.[3]

Altamirano's son, Tomás Altamirano Mantovani, also became a politician, serving in the National Assembly of Panama. He died in a car crash on March 1, 2009 at age 49.[6]


  1. Ray Sanchez (June 12, 1994). "U.S. Leaves Behind Drug-Ravaged Panama". The Chicago Sun-Times.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  2. "For the Record". The Washington Post.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . June 30, 1989. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  3. 1 2 "Bush ignores Noriega in filling top canal post". Chicago Sun-Times.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . December 6, 1989. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  4. Larry Rohter (February 9, 1995). "Some Familiar Faces Return to Power in Panama". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  5. "138-Year-Old Newspaper To Be Closed in Panama City". The Washington Post.   via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . October 3, 1987. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  6. "World Briefing / Panama". Los Angeles Times. March 1, 2009. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
Political offices
Preceded by
Guillermo Ford
First Vice President of Panama
Succeeded by
Arturo Vallarino

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