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Rafael Pineda Ponce

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Rafael Pineda Ponce

Rafael Pineda Ponce
President of the National Congress of Honduras
Born (1930-08-18)August 18, 1930
San Miguelito, Intibucá,
Died January 24, 2014(2014-01-24) (aged 83)
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C.
Nationality Honduran
Education  Brazil Universitária Armando de Salles Oliveira, São Paulo
Occupation Professor and politician
Political party Liberal Party of Honduras
Spouse(s) María Lidia Espinoza
Children Alicia Pineda Espinoza,
Rafael Pineda Espinoza,
Octavio Pineda Espinoza,
Mario Pineda Espinoza.
Parent(s) Juan R. Pineda and María Ponce

Rafael Pineda Ponce (August 18, 1930 – January 24, 2014) was a Honduran professor and politician in the Liberal Party of Honduras and President of the National Congress of Honduras from 1998 to 2002.

Early life and education

Rafael Pineda Ponce was born to Juan R. Pineda and María Ponce on August 18, 1930,[1] in a small house built by his grandparents, Caridad López Morales and Juan Rafael Pineda Flores. The house was located between Liber de Agua Zarca and Los Arrayanes next to Rio Tocó in the municipality of San Miguelito, in the Department of Intibuca. He lived here for the first six years of his life.[2]

When he was six, his father abandoned the family. Soon after that his mother died and the children were left without parents. He was taken by family first to the city of La Esperanza, Intibucá, and then with his sister Consuelo went to live with his uncle, Filadelfo López Morales in the village of Cofradia, in the department of Cortes.[3] He completed his elementary school education alternating between three schools "Lempira" in Cofradia, and "Juan E Flores" and "Valero Meza" in La Esperanza, where he was always highly regarded by his teachers.[4] Pineda Ponce began his secondary education at the Instituto Departamental de Occidente (now Escuela Normal de Occidente). He then transferred first to the Escuela Normal de Varones in Tegucigalpa, where he received the certificate of Maestro de Educación Primaria.[1] He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Science and Letters at the Instituto José Trinidad Reyes in San Pedro Sula.[1][5]

In La Esperanza, during the third and fourth years at normal school, Pineda Ponce was elected "President of the Society Procultural (Presidente de La Sociedad Pro-Cultural), which constituted the most honorable position that a student could obtain at that time. When he graduated he was awarded the Father Trino Gold Medal (Medalla de Oro Padre Trino)[1] as the most outstanding secondary-education student, presented at the Municipal Palace in San Pedro Sula.[6]

In 1965, Pineda Ponce went to the Universitária Armando de Salles Oliveira, in São Paulo, Brazil to specialize in education of teachers (Especialista en Formación de Maestros).[1] This period exposed him to some of the most distinguished educators in Latin America. There, on April 14, he was selected as the principle orator at the Pan American Day, where he gave a lengthy speech.[2]

Family life

Rafael Pineda Ponce was married to María Lidia Espinoza, who bore their four children, Alicia, Rafael, Octavio y Mario Pineda Espinoza.[1]

Political life

Rafael Pineda Ponce was a member of the Liberal Party of Honduras or PLH . In 1980 he was appointed Secretary in the Ministry of Public Education.

On November 30, 1997, after the general elections in Honduras, in which Carlos Roberto Flores won the presidential election, Pineda Ponce was named president of the National Congress of Honduras for the period 1998-2002. In the next primary election, Pineda Ponce was selected to be the Liberal candidate for the presidency. During general elections held on November 25, 2001, the Liberal Party won 55 of the 128 parliamentary seats in the National Congress of Honduras, although Pineda Ponce received only 30% of the votes and lost the election to the National Party candidate, Ricardo Maduro.

Pineda Ponce served as Minister of Education in the presidential administration of Manuel Zelaya from 2006 to 2007.[8] He was also Minister of the Presidency in the interim government of Roberto Micheletti, which arose out of the removal from power of Manuel Zelaya in the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis.[9]

Later life and death

After an illness that caused Pineda Ponce to depart from political life, the Congress met in a plenary session and voted on a decree to extend financial help to its former head and presidential candidate. Pineda Ponce died on January 24, 2014.[10][11]


Political offices
Preceded by
Carlos Roberto Flores
President of the National Congress of Honduras
Succeeded by
Porfirio Lobo Sosa
Preceded by
Roberto Martínez Lozano
Minister of Education of Honduras
Succeeded by
Marlon Brevé Reyes


  1. ^ Padre Trino was José Trinidad Reyes, who was the founder of the Autonomous National University of Honduras and is considered a national hero of Honduras.
  2. ^ His Pan American Day speech included this passage: "Debo a la deferencia de mis compañeros de curso, la honrosa statisfacción de dirigirme a vosotros en este día de solemne trascendencia y de honda satisfacción humana para los pueblos de América."[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e
  2. ^ Ríos Gómez 1998, p. 19.
  3. ^ Ríos Gómez 1998, p. 20.
  4. ^ Ríos Gómez 1998, p. 21.
  5. ^ Ríos Gómez 1998, p. 22.
  6. ^ Ríos Gómez 1998, pp. 22-23.
  7. ^ Ríos Gómez 1998, pp. 25.
  8. ^ Political Database of the Americas
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^


Further reading

  • Datos biográficos de Pablo Zelaya Sierra, by José V Vásquez and Rafael Pineda Ponce, Secretaría de Educación, Tegucigalpa, D.C. Honduras, C.A., 2006, OCLC 255920042
  • Datos para una monografía de Siguatepeque, by Rafael Pineda Ponce, Comayagüela, Honduras : Editora Cultural, C.A., 1979, OCLC 10982459
  • Doctor Vicente Mejia Colindres : Presidente Constitucional 1929-1933, by Rafael Pineda Ponce, Tegucigalpa, D.C. Honduras, C.A., 1985, OCLC 144707029
  • Ecos del bicentenario del nacimiento de Morazán, by Rafael Pineda Ponce, Consejo Ejecutivo del Partido Liberal de Honduras, Tegucigalpa, D.C. Honduras, C.A., 1992, OCLC 868015334
  • La excelencia académica y la responsabilidad histórica de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, by Rafael Pineda Ponce, Tegucigalpa, D.C. Honduras, C.A., 1989, OCLC 25936285
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