Collor, Fernando (Brazil)
Fernando Affonso Collor de Mello was president of Brazil from 1990 to 1992. He pursued a modernising programme but rising inflation and charges of corruption forced his resignation.
Born in 1949, an economist by education, Collor entered politics as a Social Democrat. He soon rose to become mayor of Maceió, the capital of Alagôas state. He was subsequently appointed its governor and joined the National Congress in 1982, where he gained a reputation as a health and education reformer able to work within tight budgets. On assuming the presidency in 1990 as the National Reconstruction candidate, he became Brazil’s youngest ever head of state.
As president, Collor set about radical economic reforms. He supported the free market and privatization and worked to reduce government intervention. He sought to lower Brazil’s crippling national debt and entered into an economic affiliation with Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. But inflation remained a major problem. His concern for Brazil’s environment led to his ending the country’s nuclear programme and hosting the 1992 Earth Summit.
Allegations of corruption emerged in Oct. 1992 when Collor was suspended from the House of Congress. When impeachment proceedings began in Dec. 1992 he chose to resign in favour of Itamar Franco.
Collor was barred from holding office until 2001 despite being found innocent of corruption charges in late 1994.