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Esteban Alejándrez Espino
|El Honorable Libertador|
Esteban Alejándrez Espino
November 20, 2017
|Vice President||Noemí Huerta Rojas|
|Predecessor||Elena Lleyes Cazador|
November 20, 2005 – November 20, 2009
|Vice President||Pablo Echevarría Pérez|
|Successor||Jaime Molina Rodríguez|
November 18, 2013 – November 18, 2017
|Born||October 26, 1987|
Glasgow, United Kingdom
|Political party||National Renewal Alliance|
|National Party (2005–2015)|
|Spouse(s)||Isabel Molina Rodríguez (2006–2009; her death)|
|Domestic partner||Rebeca Bueno Lavalleja|
|Children||Sebastián (b. 2004)|
|Residence||Presidential Palace (official)|
|Religion||Roman Catholic (lapsed)|
As the main proponent of the establishment of Bermeja, Alejándrez was largely responsible for drafting the Constitution and Charter of Fundamental Rights. In recognition of such, the Chamber of Deputies bestowed the honorific El Libertador (English, "The Liberator"). As per all presidents—past and present—Alejándrez bares the honorific El Honorable ("The Honorable").
Foundation of Bermeja
In summer 2005, Alejándrez' recently retired father took the family and close family friends on a sailing holiday to the Gulf of Mexico. Whilst there, Alejándrez and his friends recalled the disputed island of Bermeja. Shortly after arriving at Scorpion Reef, they—later to be known as los fundadores (English, "the founders")—decided to establish a micronation on the concept of Bermeja, albeit governed in accordance with their personal politics, and on August 5, 2005, they officially drafted a Declaration of Independence. This was delivered to the Mexican Consulate-General in San Juan, Puerto Rico by Alejándrez and other interim government ministers on August 20, 2005.
Alejándrez announced as early as the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in early-August that he intended to contest any presidential election that was held. In order to ensure unity and the strongest possible start for the micronation, Alejándrez sought to build an "alliance for independence" amongst the founders. Although political differences between Los Fundadores were not vast, there was enough to ensure that two of them—Gabino Herrera González and Juan Poniente Moreno—rejected the idea of an electoral alliance. Despite this minor setback, Pablo Echevarría Pérez, Jaime Molina Rodríguez and Elena Lleyes Cazador all chose to back Alejándrez, who chose Echevarría as his ticket's running mate and guaranteed Molina and Lleyes positions in his Cabinet.
Bermeja's inaugural presidential election took place on November 8, 2005, and was won by Alejándrez by a considerable margin over his rivals. Despite this, his National Party fell short of a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, winning 6 of the 13 seats. Consequently, Alejándrez' Cabinet nominations were no longer guaranteed.
Alejándrez was sworn in as 1st President of Bermeja at midday on November 20, 2005. The following day, Alejándrez formally submitted his cabinet nominations to the Chamber of Deputies, ignoring the advice from the President of the Chamber to wait until later in the week. On Monday November 21, the Chamber of Deputies—by 7 votes to 6—rejected a motion to approve or disapprove the President's cabinet nominations. Despite the drama, it ultimately proved a minor setback for business in the Chamber. The wider ramifications, however, were celebrated by all sides as the event established an important precedent: it being the first check on the president's power and the first expression of the Chamber of Deputies' supremacy over matters of governance. The Cabinet nominations were later approved.
The greatest priority of Alejándrez was to establish a legitimate micronation with a fully functioning government. Having been instrumental in drafting the Constitution and Charter of Fundamental Rights, he now sought to lay down a simple but effective criminal code. In doing so, he drew upon the founding principles behind Bermeja and formally established in law the "Five Freedoms" and that breeching any of these became a crime punishable by expulsion from the project. Throughout his first term, Alejándrez sought to make connections with other micronations but was somewhat impinged by the lack of viable and immediate communication as is currently available. Therefore, he had limited success in this field. He was further hindered by a series of missteps in appointing foreign ministers with limited experience.
In drafting the Constitution, Alejándrez sought to ensure state offices did not become dominated by the same people as has often become the case with other micronations. The Constitution therefore explicitly states that incumbent presidents and vice presidents are ineligible for immediate re-election (although they may seek re-election after waiting out at least one term). As such, Alejándrez was ineligible to contest the 2009 presidential election and, to ensure he didn't unduly influence the outcome of the election, did not support any of the candidates seeking election that year. This move was seen to disadvantage Alejándrez' vice president, Pablo Echevarría Pérez, who was himself contesting the presidency because many—including Echevarría himself—believe Alejándrez refusal to outright endorse Echevarría was tantamount to an expression of no confidence.
Considerably effected by the death of his wife, Alejándrez announced a hiatus from micronationalism in September 2009. Shortly thereafter, career moves meant he was unable to commit full-time to the project.
By the time of the 2013 general election, Alejándrez was once again committed to driving the project forward. Despite his being asked to contest the presidency again, he chose instead to endorse Elena Lleyes Cazador. This was met with small amounts of backlash, particularly from Pablo Echevarría Pérez whom Alejándrez did not endorse 4 years earlier. Alejándrez was allegedly offered the vice president position by Lleyes, as well as Cabinet positions, which he turned down. Alejándrez instead chose to lead the revitalized National Party in the Chamber of Deputies election, winning the most votes and seats.
After a term served in the Chamber of Deputies, Alejándrez announced in July 2017 that he intended to contest the 2017 presidential election. He also announced that he was forming an electoral pact with the Liberal Party, the National Renewal Alliance (known in Spanish as "ARENA"), which was committed to reviving the micronational project, and to build relations with other micronational projects around the world to raise the profile of Bermeja. Incumbent Elena Lleyes Cazador endorsed Alejándrez and ARENA.
Alejándrez comfortably won the presidential election with 77.8% of the vote—the largest margin of victory in any presidential election—and became the first person elected to a second term as president. He was sworn in at midday on November 20, 2017.
Alejándrez was born on October 26, 1987 in Glasgow, Scotland. He was the third child and second son born to Enrico Alejándrez Mayor (1941–2010), a merchant mariner, and Margarita Espino Aznar (born 1953), a nurse. His father was seconded to the U.K. from 1985 to 1988. His parents being from Puerto Rico, however, were both United States citizens and, as such, Alejándrez was born an American citizen, not a British citizen. Alejándrez' father was recalled by his company to Puerto Rico in May 1988.
He and his childhood sweetheart, Isabel Molina Rodríguez (twin sister of Jaime Molina Rodríquez), began dating in 2001 when both were 13. Aged 15, Isabel fell pregnant, giving birth a son, Sebastián Tomás Alejándrez Molina, on April 21, 2004. At their families' insistence, both Alejándrez and Molina continued school, both graduating in 2006. They married that same summer on June 23, 2006, 9 days after Molina's 18th birthday. The couple moved into a house together with their son in May 2007. In October 2006, after experiencing prolonged pain in her pelvis and abdomen, Molina was diagnosed with stage III cervical cancer. Despite initially responding well to treatment, the cancer returned in 2008, ultimately leading to Molina's death on July 14, 2009; one month after her 21st birthday. Alejándrez' father died 9 months later, also due to cancer.
Speaking about the experience afterwards, Esteban said he often felt an enormous amount of guilt for his wife's death and said that his faith was severely shaken by the events. Previously a devout practising Roman Catholic, Alejándrez has said he is now a "lapsed Catholic". Despite this, he continues to raise his son a Catholic with his new partner, Rebeca Bueno Lavalleja, who comforted him throughout his grief. The two have not announced plans to marry but confirmed they intend to live together in the near future.