Cablegate: Panama: Biographic Information On First Lady

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Panamanians widely hold Vivian Fernandez de
Torrijos, wife of President-elect Martin Torrijos, in high
regard. She is well known for her active role in charitable
and social work, as well as being a model mother and wife.
Vivian Torrijos is an accomplished publicist and has worked
for her father's advertising company (Publicis Fergo). She
is also the founder and President of Agencia para el
Desarrollo (ACDE), a Panamanian NGO that promotes development
in poor Panamanian communities, both metropolitan and rural.
Because of her passionate commitment to Panama's social
welfare, Ms. Torrijos has been successful in uniting women to
work with her on educational, healthcare, environmental, and
cultural programs.

2. (SBU) Ms. Torrijos has made supporting her husband's
political career a priority. She actively supported his
losing 1999 presidential campaign and his triumphant 2004
campaign. She claims not to have political ambitions of her
own (although many Panamanians believe she has the "common
touch" to succeed as a politician). Ms. Torrijos has stated
that as First Lady she will continue to support her husband
in all aspects of his presidency, especially on social
issues. She has focused on ensuring school accessibility and
the right to an education for all Panamanians, especially the
poor and children with special needs. Ms. Torrijos told La
Prensa that she would support creating an entire section of
the Panamanian Ministry of Education that would be dedicated
solely to working with special education issues.

3. (SBU) Born March 25, 1966, Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos
is the youngest of five children of Antonio and Hilda
Fernandez. Antonio Fernandez, better known in Panama under
the pseudonym "Tony Fergo" as a popular composer/singer and
publicist, is a naturalized Panamanian citizen born in Cuba.
Ms. Torrijos married Martin Torrijos Espino in 1990, and they
have three children (Daniela Maria, Martin Omar and Nicolas
Antonio). Ms. Torrijos attended middle and high school at
the Panamanian chapter of the all-girls Catholic school
Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Colegio de Las
Esclavas del Sagrado Corazon). Ms. Torrijos earned a
bachelors in Business Administration from Florida State
University and Nova University, both in Panama City. She
speaks English well.


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