Jaime Roldós Aguilera, President of Ecuador

A violent, fiery plane crash into a mountain on May 24, 1981 ended the life of Jaime Roldós Aguilera, then President of Ecuador.  Aguilera was an educator, author, and politician.   At 39 years old, he was the youngest President elected in the Western Hemisphere.   He took office following a difficult nine-year period of military and civilian dictatorship.  Aguilera worked to restore freedom of the press and granted amnesty to political prisoners.  He initiated labor law reforms and agricultural improvements, with the goal of leading the country to democracy.  His ‘accidental’ death was viewed with great suspicion, with (guess who) the US CIA as prime suspect. 

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