Violeta Chamorro

Updated on Apr 23, 2004 01:00 PM IST

Turning La Prensa into an instrument of change, she was the first woman President of Nicaragua.

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Born in 1929 into a wealthy Nicaraguan family, Violeta Barrios was studying in the US when her father's death in 1950 brought her back to her country. Soon she married Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, the editor of Nicaragua's only national newspaper, La Prensa.

As Pedro spent years in exile and in prison for his fight for democracy, led many unsuccessful insurrections, Violeta remained busy with their four children.

In January 1978, Pedro was murdered and Violeta was thrust upon the responsibility to carry forward his struggle. Over a decade, she turned La Prensa into an instrument of change and was elected the first woman president of a central American nation. She pursued national reconciliation as president and brought an end to the Contra war.

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