Julio María Sanguinetti was president of Uruguay from 1985 to 1990 and from 1995 to 2000. Since 1953, Sanguinetti has been an editor and columnist for many national and international publications. He entered politics in 1962, and was elected a member of parliament for three consecutive terms. From 1969 to 1971, Sanguinetti served as minister of industry and commerce. In 1972, he was appointed minister of culture and sport. After the 1973 coup d’état, Sanguinetti devoted himself to journalism, taking a critical stance towards the civil-military government. He also promoted cultural and sporting activities as president of UNESCO’s Regional Center for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and vice president of the Soccer club Peñarol.
Sanguinetti returned to politics in the early 1980s and headed the delegation of the Partido Colorado (PC) in negotiations with the military government, which led to the signing of the Naval Club Pact in 1984 and a peaceful transition to democracy. In 1983, he was elected secretary general of the Executive Committee of the PC and in 1985, he took office as president of Uruguay, serving until 1990. During his tenure, Uruguay signed the Montevideo Pact with Brazil and Argentina, the agreement leading to the creation of MERCOSUR. He was elected for a second term beginning in 1995.
In 1990, he was president of the PAX Institute, an academic foundation for international action. From 1967 to 1973, he was president of the National Commission of Fine Arts, and in 1972, he was a founding member of the Commission of Historical, Artistic, and Cultural National Heritage. In 1996, along with former presidents Belisario Betancur (Colombia), Felipe González (Spain), Ricardo Lagos (Chile), and Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil), he founded the Circle of Montevideo with the goal of creating new paths for governance and human development in Latin America. Sanguinetti holds a law degree from the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of the University of the Republic of Uruguay.
Sanguinetti is an Emeritus Member of the Dialogue.