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José Isabel Blandón Figueroa was elected Mayor of the City of Panama in the country´s general elections held on May 4, 2014. He officially began his functions and took office on July 2, 2014, along with Vice-Mayor Mrs. Raisa Banfield.

After having served four years in the National Assembly, one year as Suplente (Substitute Legislator) and three as Principal, Mayor Blandón is prepared and eager to face the new challenges before his Administration. A lawyer by Profession, he is committed to guiding the development of a more just, culturally rich, educated, harmonious and sustainable society for the citizens of Panama.

His political career began in 1994, when he was elected as Primer Suplente of Legislator Marco Ameglio, for the Circuit 8-8 (covering the districts of Betania, Bella Vista, Pueblo Nuevo and Ancon). During that period, he was recognized for all the interventions he made in the Pleno (Courts), especially during the process against Magistrate José Manuel Faúndes. Similarly, he became one of the toughest critics against the privatizations realized by then-President Ernesto Pérez Balladares and was one of the leading opponents of the Constitutional Reforms that Pérez Balladares planned to introduce regarding immediate presidential reelections.

In 1999, as part of the Arnulfista (Panameñista) Party, he was elected Legislator for the first time. During that period, he achieved the approval of various important projects into Law, such as the regulation of sworn Statements of Assets (Declaraciones Juradas de Estado Patrimonial) and the law that establishes the writ of Habeas Data. Blandón Figueroa has stood-out due to his continuous presence in the media, his active participation in Parliamentary Debates and his permanent activity in the community.
Between 1999 and 2004, he was Chief of the Arnulfista Bancada (legislator´s bench), President of the Education, Culture and Sports Commission, and President of the Credentials Commission.

By his own merit, he was reelected in 2004 and during the consequent two-year period he directed the Panameñista Bancada (legislator´s bench) and was one of the principal voices of the Opposition. Despite not being part of the majority in Parliament, he continued proposing laws and was a firm proponent of the Law for the Control of Tobacco, creating a strong precedent in Panama and becoming a role model for the rest of Latin America.

In 2009 he was reelected to a second term as Representative (Diputado), this time for the Circuit 8-7 (covering the districts of Ancón, Betania, Bella Vista, Calidonia, Chorrillo, Curundú, Pueblo Nuevo, Santa Ana and San Felipe), during which time he was President of the Commission of Public Finance (Hacienda Pública) and again President of the Education, Culture and Sports Commission, propelling the General Law on Culture (Ley General de Cultura).

During his time as Representative, his main concerns were always issues of security, transparency, citizen involvement, culture and urbanism. He has accompanied the communities he represented in numberless struggles against projects and decisions that affected their lives negatively, and has constantly shown support for the promotion of sports and other cultural activities. 

As a leader and member of the Panameñista Party for the past thirteen years, Mayor Blandón has been member of the National Directory, he was II Vice-President of the Party, and Prosecutor (Fiscal) for the Executive Committee (2011-2016). 

Throughout his career, Mayor Blandón has proved to be a dependable proponent of the principles with which he began his political career; not as part of a political party to gain influence but rather, as a young activist during a difficult era of the nation´s history. He proved his independence and strength of character through political activism, through his study and practice of the Law, and through his commitment to progress, education, sustainability and justice for all citizens.

As a young man, his father gave him a copy of the epic poem The Poem of the Cid, telling of a Castilian hero during the Spanish Reconquista. This would lead him to discover a deep appreciation of literature and retain him to this day as an avid reader. As a good “Herrerano” [born in the province of Herrera], Mayor Blandon is also a big fan of baseball and played quite well throughout his school years. He is married to Yamileth Araúz from the Panamanian Province of Chiriquí and is father of four children.

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