Biography of Augusto Bernardino Leguía y Salcedo (1863-1932)

Politician and businessman Peruvian. He/She was born in Lambayeque, on 19 February the year 1863, and died in Bellavista Callao prison, on 6 February the year 1932. He/She was Minister of finance and President of Peru for two times (1908-1912; 1919-1930). During his first term he/she said definitely the frontier of the territories contested since ancient times with Bolivia and Brazil.

Leguía y Salcedo belonged to one of the most distinguished of the Peruvian oligarchy families. Trained at the school of Valparaiso (Chile), he/she participated in the war of the Pacific (1879-1883), becoming a skilled man of business. Become an Executive of the New York Life Insurance Company in South America, Leguía y Salcedo had access to the most exclusive banking circles of time, circumstances that allowed him, in the year 1896, the Foundation of his own trading company and make prosperous business with the export of sugar to Britain. The final leap to politics took him out in 1903, after being appointed Minister for finance, office where he/she stayed until the year 1908, where he/she was appointed President of the Peru.

From the first moment of his Government, Leguía y Salcedo introduced a personalist and authoritarian politics in excess. Their first measure of importance was to stimulate the economic development of the country. He/She developed a profound administrative and fiscal reform and introduced public health nationwide, as completed with the construction of several general hospitals. Finally, he/she rushed the channeling of the most important cities of the country. The greatest political achievement in his first presidential term was the signing of a stable territorial Treaty with Bolivia and Brazil that put an end to an old and bitter dispute among the three Nations. Because of his authoritarianism, opposed the Democrats led by Nicolás Piérola and the civil of Pardo, who ended up spreading, Leguía y Salcedo was party only to its extent, the Civil Party. 19 greatest of the year 1909, broke out a revolutionary movement controlled by supporters of PIÉROLA, which took control of the country and managed to kidnap Leguía. But this was released hours later thanks to the quick intervention of the Government forces.

At the end of his presidential term, Leguía y Salcedo had to go into exile in London where he/she served as President of the Latin American Chamber of trade and Exchange, between 1912 and 1918, apart from devoted to its prosperous sugar business personal. In 1919, his followers oligarchs led a series of riots that escalated into a real coup that returned to Leguía y Salcedo again at the top of the Peruvian power, the 4th of July in the year 1919, after which dissolved Congress and was elected President by a National Assembly, appointed by himself.

During his second term, Leguía y Salcedo broke relations with the old Peruvian oligarchy which had dominated Peruvian politics two decades earlier. Leguía embarked fully on an ambitious project for construction of public works, financed by loans with the United States and several European countries, to commemorate the centenary of the Peruvian independence, which included the plaza de San Martín, the Leguía Avenue (today Arequipa), the Avenida Argentina, and a number of residential quarters of the capital Lima (San Isidro and Santa Beatriz). Leguía established a real dictatorship as a result of the movement created by it, known as Patria Nueva, which repressed any opposition political or alternative power, circumstances that led to the creation of a political core of opposition in exile, strong and cohesive, eventually overthrowing him. Leguía y Salcedo introduced important changes in the Constitution twice (1924 and 1929), to allow his re-election as President. In addition, Leguía y Salcedo solved the problems border of Peru with Colombia (Treaty Salomón–Lozano, 1922) and Chile (Treaty of Lima, 1929).

The financial crisis of the year 1930 and subsequent social unrest as a result of its repressive and dictatorial policy, did shake his Government, which ended up falling after the bursting of a military revolution started in the town of Arequipa, led by Luis Sánchez Cerro, who ended up firing him. Leguía y Salcedo was imprisoned in the prison of Bellavista el Callao, where he/she died two years later, without having been released.


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