Luis Alfredo Palacio Gonzales (born January 22, 1939) served as President of Ecuador from April 2005 to January 2007. FromJanuary 15, 2003 to April 20, 2005, he served as vice president, after which he was appointed to the presidency when the Ecuadorian Congress removed President LucioGutierrez from power following a week of growing unrest with his government.
Born in Guayaquil, Palacio is a physician by profession, specializingin cardiology. He studied in his home town and, later, at Cleveland, Ohio, doing residency at Case Western Reserve University, followed by a two-year cardiology fellowship atBarnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States. He later lectured in cardiology and public health at Guayaquil's faculty ofmedicine.
Palacio was chosen as Lucio Gutierrez’s running mate in the 2002 election. It was a common sight during the campaign to see Gutierrez, dressed in his armyfatigues, accompanied by Palacio, wearing surgical scrubs. Palacio had previously served as the health during the administration of Six to Duran Ballén. Many ofthe ministers he chose were from the Democratic Left (Ecuador).
One of Palacio's first proposals made as president was to hold a Constitutional Assembly to amendEcuador's 1998 Constitution. For a period of several months prior to assuming office, he had been a critic of the Gutierrez regime, saying that the country was"falling apart" and in need of "intensive care".
Rafael Correa was elected president in November 2006 and replaced Palacio as president on January 15, 2007.