Jorge Serrano Elías Biography

(29th President of Guatemala)

Birthday: April 26, 1945 (Taurus)

Born In: Guatemala City

Known today for being the brief leader of a coup d’état in his native Guatemala, Jorge Serrano Elias played a prominent role in modern politics in his homeland. Born in a patrician family to a father who had bravely stood up to a dictatorial leader, Serrano enjoyed a childhood of privilege and luxury. After completing his early education, heemigrated to the United States to complete his higher education. While in America, he underwent a profound religious transformation. After toiling to help rebuild his country following a devastating earthquake, Serrano had to flee his homeland when he received death threats after accurately reporting on the miserable and inhumane conditions of the indigenous people living in Guatemala. When a fellow evangelist became president of Guatemala, Serrano was able to return to his homeland. Involving himself in domestic politics, Serrano unsuccessfully ran for the presidency once, before winning a subsequent election. Although he managed to implement many welcome reforms during his brief tenure in office, Serrano then led a "self-coup" and dissolved the country's democratic institutions. Less than two weeks later, Serrano was forced to flee his homeland. In the past two decades, Serrano has used his wealth and powerful connections to enjoy a comfortable and profitable lifestyle while in exile from his homeland
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Jorge Antonio Serrano Elías

Age: 79 Years, 79 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Magda Bianchi de Serrano

Millionaires Presidents

political ideology: 29th President of Guatemala-14 January 1991 – 1 June 1993, Political party Movimiento de Acción Solidaria.

More Facts

education: Stanford University, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala

Childhood & Early Life
Jorge Serrano Elias was born on April 26, 1945 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. His father was Jorge Adan Serrano and his mother was Rosa Elias, who was of Lebanese descent.
Serrano has three sisters. He attended high school at the ‘Liceu Guatemala’ in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
He graduated from the ‘University of San Carlos’ in Guatemala with a degree in industrial engineering and economic development, in 1967.
From 1966 to 1967, Serrano was ‘President of the Engineering Students Association’ at the University of San Carlos.
He also received a doctorate in education and science from ‘Stanford University’ in California.
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In 1975, Serrano became an evangelical Baptist after a lifetime of being a devout Catholic. He then joined the ‘Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship’ and later the ‘Pentecostal Church of the Word’. The head of the church in Guatemala was Efrain Rios Montt.
In 1976, he worked with several religious organizations in the United States to raise funds to help his native Guatemala following a devastating earthquake hit the country. He then joined 'El Shaddai', a Protestant congregation headquartered in California.
He published a white paper about the conditions of the indigenous people of Guatemala and received numerous death threats, which caused him to flee to the United States.
From 1978 to 1981, he was President of the ‘Organization of American States Inter-American Council for Education, Science and Culture’.
In 1982, he returned to Guatemala to accept a position as Vice President of the ‘Advisory Board’ under President Efrain Rios Montt. The following year, Serrano alienated a large percentage of the population when he refused to shake hands with the visiting Pope John Paul II.
In 1985, he ran for president of Guatemala as a member of the PDCN and PR party but came in third place.He co-founded the MAS political party, a year later.
He was appointed to be one of the four members of the ‘National Reconciliation Commission’, tasked with investigating the crimes of the former government of Rios Montt, in 1987.
On November 11, 1990, he ran for president of Guatemala as a member of the MAS party and was elected in the second round to a five-year term, defeating Jorge Carpio. Serrano's election was the first time in the country's history that an incumbent president had peacefully surrendered power following an election.
He recognized the nation of Belize, a contentious issue following a century of wars and disputes between the two countries, in 1991.
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In 1993, he signed the Guatemala Protocol, a series of agreements to reduce trade tariffs.In the same year, Serrano signed an agreement with Mexico that permitted the repatriation of 2.500 Guatemalan refugees who had fled their country during the decades-long civil war.
In a shocking turn of events on May 25, 1993, he suspended the constitution, dissolved the Supreme Court and Parliament to lead a "self coup", installing himself as dictator.
On June 1, 1993, facing stiff opposition from the public and the military, he resigned as president and fled to El Salvador. Six months later, he and his family resettled permanently in Panama.
On August 10, 1994 the authorities in Panama declined an extradition request to return Serrano to Guatemala.
He began work as a consultant, helping to develop the prestigious Hacienda Country Club in Panama, which was inaugurated in 1997.
In 2002, Guatemala issued an international arrest warrant against Serrano.
Serrano currently works as a real estate developer in both Panama and the United States. Once a week he appears on the Panamanian radio talk show 'La Palabra', which reaches much of Guatemala.
Major Works
Jorge Serrano was the president of Guatemala from January 14, 1991 to June 1, 1993. During his term he made some significant reforms including the ‘Guatemala Protocol’ aimed at reducing trade tariffs and an agreement with Mexico for repatriation of refugees displaced during the Civil War.
Personal Life & Legacy
Serrano is married to Magda Bianchi de Serrano. Together they have five children. Two of their sons are twins, Juan Pablo and Arturo, and today they operate the enormous ‘Tikal Latinamerican Corporation’, a mining concern that operates in Guatemala.
Otto Perez Molina, who is currently the President of Guatemala, was the director of military intelligence under Serrano. Molina supported Serrano's 1993 coup.
Serrano was the second non-Catholic to become president of Guatemala. The first was Efrain Rios Montt

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