The karate minister

Today Sports Minister Francisco Camacho put on his kimono again.

The satisfaction of evoking times past with several colleagues of his generation, including his brother Miguel, was evident.

“We want to tell the country that there is no age to play sports. You just have to have passion and that in that group we show that in the end we end up being a family,” said Camacho, 59.

The holder of the official sports portfolio wore the traditional white uniform with the black belt in the framework of a camp started yesterday by the Dominican Taekwondo Federation (FEDOTAE) on its roof of the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center with dozens of athletes as part of their preparation for the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador and the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile, to be held this year.

Camacho embraced taekwondo at the age of seven and his passion –and discipline– was such that he has held the First Degree Black Belt Degree since 1981, the best of his class.

He imposed a dynasty in the so-called “Light” Category, in which he was champion for eight years in a row. To this remarkable achievement that he had at the national level, he added a bronze medal at the Pan American Taekwondo Championship, which took place in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in 1986.

He was a member of the national team of rude sport between 1981 and 1990.

He graduated in Civil Engineering from the Organization and Method University (O&M) in 1996, but he shone on the tatami as part of the Pedro Henríquez Ureña National University (UNPHU) team.

With that academy of high studies, he was part of the three victories they had against the unbeatable team of the World University, which had not bitten the dust of defeat in a university taekwondo tournament.

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Camacho’s greatest achievements with the national team came, indisputably, in the role of coach, a position he held for five years (1990-1995).

Under his direction, the tricolor team won two silver medals at the XVII Central American and Caribbean Games, held in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1993, the first of that metal won by the Dominican Republic in the regional fair.

Simultaneously he was vice president of FEDOTAE, becoming president in the period 1993-1995, replacing Luis Santana, who resigned because he decided to settle in the United States.

In 2007 he ran for office and was elected for the first time at the polls, beating Dr. Leonardo Monsanto.

Between 2011 and 2015 he was co-secretary of the Dominican Olympic Committee.

Two of the seven Olympic medals obtained by the country in the Olympic Games came with Camacho presiding over that federation.

Gabriel Mercedes won silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Eight years later, in 2016, Luisito Pie also married glory by climbing to the podium with the bronze around his neck in Rio de Janeiro.

He is a member of the Dominican Republic Martial Arts Hall of Fame.


Camacho Rivas was born on November 19, 1963, in Santiago de los Caballeros. He is the third child of the marriage formed by Mr. Francisco Javier Camacho Camacho and Mrs. Hilda Caridad Rivas Jorge.

President Luis Abinader appointed him Minister of Sports through decree 324-20. He was sworn in by the ruler on August 16, 2020 at the National Palace.

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