Biography of Ulises Heureaux (1844-1899)

Military and Dominican politician born in 1844 and died in Moca on July 26, 1899. Popularly known as Lilís, was President of the Republic on two occasions (1882-1884 and 1887-1899) and his second term imposed a strict dictatorship system in the country.

Lilís Heureaux, Luperonblue party candidate, took first the maximum judiciary of the State on September 1, 1882, to replace Fernando Arturo de Meriño, cargo and abandoned the presidential chair two years later with the arrival at the Palacio Nacional of the writer Francisco Billini. Declared the Dominican independence advocate, Lilis ruled in harmony with the constitutional dictates during his first term, but when it agreed again to the Presidency, to direct the destiny of the country in the last two decades of the 19th century, established a personalistic regime that liquidated democratic principles, favored the corruption and left the country bankrupt.

To ensure its continuity, established an electoral system of indirect voting that justified his re-election in office over and over again, and thus got to perpetuate his dictatorship in four consecutive periods of Government: between 1887 and 1889, between 1889 and 1893, between 1893 and 1897 and between 1897 and 1899.

He showed an unusual wisdom as a statesman to select among the political class to all those characters that could effectively meet the dictates of his administration. At your service were leaders of the party red, ringleaders of the blue party and followers of other ideological trends which, forming part of the same side, guaranteeing the stability of the Government and the consolidation of its President in office. He also managed to foment enmity between his own party colleagues and ended the leadership of Luperon to avoid is to organize a strong political force with a capacity to limit his powers. Unopposed, he repealed laws, controlled legal organs, and strengthened the army to deter possible uprisings. Earned the nickname of "peacemaker of the homeland", but stability was based on methods of compulsion contemplated from arrests and exiles to murders for who would dare to oppose his Government.

He maintained an intense diplomatic activity with the major European powers and the growing American Empire, and favoured the development of foreign capital on the island to obtain, change, concessions and loans that never paid and that, upon his death, indebted to the country for decades.

When Lilís took the fourth presidency of his dictatorship on February 27, 1897, already began to vislumbrase the first symptoms of the end of its mandate. Centralizing obsession and its undeniable authority continued emanating all decisions affecting the country, but the pillars of his regime lost strength because of institutional corruption and the high degree of political repression. Applied measures of Government to expand agricultural and commercial development, promoting routes of communication, reorganized the army and the territorial administration of the country, but many of his accomplishments were in the service of foreign capital or the environment created around your own personal system. A group conspirator, led by Ramón Cáceres, Jacobo Lara and Horacio Vázquez, ready to put an end to dictatorship and to return to the Republic national sovereignty mortgaged by Heureaux, Lilis murdered in the town of Moca on July 26, 1889.