Biography of Eloy Alfaro Delgado (1842-1912)

Military and Ecuadorian politician, head of the radical liberalism, President of the Republic in the period 1895-1901 and 1906 - 1911. Son of a Spanish father and Ecuadorian mother, was born on June 15, 1842 in Montecristi, and died in Quito, murdered by the mob, on January 28, 1912. He/She received the first training in his hometown, mainly oriented towards trade. From the very child highlighted by their fighting spirit and their leader qualities. At thirteen, he/she headed a gang which confronted the police, who did flee stoned to death. His father moved to Lima and then to Central America where they installed a business of hats. In 1864 he/she returned to Peru as a confidential agent of the liberal Manuel Albán to interview ex-President general Urbina and organize a revolution. The general advised him to wait, but returned to Manabí, Alfaro is insubordinó, and the Governor ordered his capture. Alfaro stormed a detachment in Montecristi and arrested the Governor, forcing him to ensure his escape to Panama. In this country he/she joined the Freemasonry and managed to make a large fortune; Here he/she married the Panamanian Ana Paredes Arosemena, who bore him nine children. Since 1869 economically helped Juan Montalvo (in Panama financed in 1874 the publication of the book the perpetual dictatorship, with which the writer prompted young people to the murder of García Moreno), and held his family, helping his brothers and his father. In 1870-71 financed, from Panama, an uprising in Montecristi against García Moreno. In May 1876 again planned a coup against President Borrero, but discovered, fled back to Panama. Finally, when Veintemilla overthrew Borrero, Alfaro was appointed political Chief of Portoviejo and responsible for the railway in the South, which had been begun by García Moreno. But Alfaro conspirará also against Veintemilla from the moment in which he/she refused to recognize him his salary of Colonel. They were discovered their two coup attempts, on one occasion he/she escaped to Panama, and on the other was imprisoned and tortured. Twice more he/she conspired, unsuccessfully, against the dictator, until finally, in 1883, it began its "regenerative" campaign from Esmeraldas, which ended with the overthrow of Veintemilla, thanks to the temporary marriage with the conservative forces.

Having lost the election, 1884 against his opponent, José María Plácido Caamaño, it engaged in a guerrilla war against it; He/She was defeated in Jaramijó (Manabi province) and was forced to flee to Colombia and pilgrimage in exile throughout the Americas. In 1890, and aided by his Liberal friends from the continent, made a triumphal tour of Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. It had become a personality of legendary fame.

Resident in Nicaragua, in 1895 was called to be at the forefront of the Guayaquil uprising against the regime of "progressivism" (agreement between garciano conservatism and Catholic liberalism). Upon arrival he/she was received grandstanding in Guayaquil, while in the country is engaged in a long and violent civil war that ended with the collapse of the Salazar Government. Two years ruled Alfaro dictatorially, until 1897 constituent Assembly elected him constitutional President. During his first presidential term was proclaimed the Constitution of 1896, which eliminated the traditional invocation to God, and repealed the Concordat with the Holy See. Alfaro was uncompromising against religious manifestations, in the midst of serious abuses and irregularities against the Catholic Church. In 1901 Leonidas Plaza Gutiérrez, one of his generals succeeded him.

Alfaro again took power in 1906, overthrowing Lizardo García. A new Constitution, the alfarista second, established the typical measures of radical liberalism: official secularism, the separation of Church and State, freedom of worship, confiscation of church property and marriage divorce. During his second term ended to Guayaquil Railway (which returned in part the trust of the people) and succeeded in establishing a major national consensus against threats from the Peru in 1910. Finally, in August 1911, a military uprising forced him to resign, and took refuge in Panama. That same year the general Pedro J. Montero staged a coup in Guayaquil in favour of Alfaro, which returned from their exile. Again went on the civil war, this time between the two liberal parties: the alfarista and the Kuala. Alfaro fell prisoner with his top aides and was led to the Panopticon of Quito, where a furious mob was Wroth against him and his companions, gave them death on January 28, 1912, and then dragged their bodies through the streets. This tragic event inspired, years later, Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco Alfaro biography title: the barbaric bonfire. The work of Alfaro, appealed the old warrior, is one of the most notable of the rulers of the Ecuador, both by ideological transformations achieved, as for the works carried out. Were also numerous interventions in the social field: exonerated of the territorial tribute to the Indians of the Sierra and the montuvios of the coast; abolished imprisonment for debt; It allowed the participation of women in managerial positions; He/She promoted schools and education centers. In the international field promoted a meeting of Latin American representatives in Mexico for the formation of an American public law; it intervened before the Queen María Cristina for the independence of Cuba and fought to resurrect the Bolivarian idea of the Gran Colombia; in turning to him joined the village opposite the Peru, but it did not endorse his idea of rent to United States the Galapagos Islands. Alfaro is one of the strongest personalities that have guided the Ecuadorian people. Holder several times of considerable fortune, many others spent it for the sake of the Masonic liberal ideal. Considered, by some, champion of freedom and founder of democracy in his country, is, for others, the embodiment of anti-clericalism and political despotism. Its militarism, arrogance and dictatorial character carried him at circumventing the rights of his opponents on behalf of his party's radical ideology, and it earned him the angry protest of the intellectuals of the country and the rejection and hatred even of many of their supporters. For the Ecuadorian liberal party - and even from other countries-, Alfaro has become history as the archetype and martyr of libertarian ideas. According to the historian Jorge Salvador Lara "Alfaro took place in the Republic of the Ecuador the only authentic revolution, apart from the independence, in the sense of profound, controversial and bloody transformation, based on a controversial doctrinal change".


LOOR, W. Eloy Alfaro, 3 vols. Quito, 1947

PAREJA DIEZCANSECO, Alfredo, the barbaric bonfire (life of Eloy Alfaro). Mexico, 1944

GUARDERAS, F. The old of Montecristi. Quito, 1953

ROSALINO, l., Eloy Alfaro. Quito, 1968

TRONCOSO, J. anecdotal life of General Eloy Alfaro, Quito, 1968.