José Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo es un político y empresario nicaragüense, Presidente de Nicaragua entre 1997 y 2002.
Hijo de padres liberales e importantes funcionarios públicos de la época de la dictadura dinástica de los Somoza (pertenecían al Partido Liberal Nacionalista PLN), llegó a ocupar importantes cargos en la administración estatal. Daniel Ortega Saavedra bajo ampliamente su popularidad. Ha sido un mediano productor cafetalero se presentó como candidato del Partido Liberal Constitucionalista.
Alcalde de Managua en 1990 por la Unión Nacional Opositora UNO y luego Presidente de la Nación, hoy en día es más recordado por los escándalos de corrupción que estuvieron presentes en su gobierno. Ha sido considerado uno le los 10 jefes de estado más corruptos del mundo, ubicado en el 8vo lugar, además pese a ser muy querido por parte de los nicaragüenses la firma del pacto político para la repartición de los poderes del estado con
El 17 de enero de 2009, Arnoldo Alemán fue sobreseído de los cargos de corrupción por la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Nicaragua.
José Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo (born 23 January 1946) was the 81st President of Nicaragua from 10 January 1997 to 10 January 2002.
Alemán was born in Managua and received his early education at the La Salle institute in Managua. In 1967 he graduated with a law degree from the National Autonomous University of León with specializations in regional economic integration and financial law. Between 1968 and 1979, he worked as a lawyer in the commercial and banking world. He became an official in the government of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. In 1980 he was arrested by the Sandinista junta, had some of his property seized and spent 9 months in prison. After he was released from prison, he spent some time in the United States.
Upon his return to Nicaragua, Alemán became heavily involved in business, political, and academic activities. He was a member of the Consejo Superior de la Empresa Privada (COSEP, 1988–1990), vice-president of the Unión de Productores Agropecuarios de Nicaragua (UPANIC, 1986–1990). He was president of the Asociación de Cafetaleros de Managua (1983–1990); the Unión de Cafetaleros de Nicaragua (UNCAFENIC, 1986–1990); the Federación de Municipios de América Central (1992–1993) and of the Federación Municipal de Ciudades de Centroamérica (1993–1995).
He also imparted conferences at Tulane University and at Florida International University in the United States.
In the early 1990s he became Mayor of Managua after serving for two months as a councillor in Managua. He was popular due to his urban renewal projects which helped spruce up the city, severely damaged and never rebuilt after a 1972 earthquake. He became known as "El Gordo" ("The Fat Man"). On 1 September 1995 he resigned as Mayor in order to be able, under Nicaraguan Law, to stand as a candidate in the forthcoming presidential election. In 1996 he campaigned for president as the Liberal Alliance's candidate under a strong anti-Sandinista platform.
On 16 January 2009, Nicaragua’s Supreme Court overturned the 20-year corruption sentence against former President Arnoldo Alemán.
The decision generated some controversy: "stunned opposition lawmakers immediately suspected a secret deal between Mr. Alemán, ranked one of the world’s 10 most corrupt leaders ever by Transparency International, and Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua and leader of the Sandinista Party, who wields considerable influence and control over the courts. “He’s handing over the National Assembly in exchange for his personal liberty,” said Congressman Enrique Saenz. Mr. Alemán, who denies the allegation, said, “Justice has finally been served.”