Biography of Bautista Saavedra (1870-1939)

Politician, writer and Bolivian jurist, born in La Paz on August 30, 1870 and died in Santiago de Chile on May 1, 1939, who was President of the Republic of Bolivia between 1921 and 1925.


She studied law and, after graduating, Professor of law criminal of the University of peace, position which he combined with his lawyer in the Bolivian capital work. Also served as diplomat and sociologist and, for a brief period of time, worked in the archives of Seville, where he studied Bolivian colonial history. As a youngster he joined the constitutional party, chaired by Maple. In 1902 he was appointed CEO of limits of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its ideology was drifting towards liberal political positions, which earned him to deal with the portfolio of instruction in the Government chaired by Eliodoro Villazón. On leaving office he was elected Deputy and then went on to occupy a seat in the Senate. In 1915 he broke definitely with the Liberals, which led him to found the Republican party, whose leadership exercised from June 1920 together with other ancient correligionarios. It played a leading role in the coup of July 12, 1920, that overthrew President Gutiérrez, after which took control of power.


It formed together with José María Escalier and Manuel Ramírez, prominent Republican politicians, a joint Transitional Government. The first decision was to hold elections to a constituent Assembly that amend the Constitution. The new Assembly, in which supporters of Saavedra were majority, began its session on December 19, 1920. As a protest by political decisions, Escalier and Ramírez left the Governing Board and presented their candidacies for the Presidency. The choice of the leader of the nation took place in the Assembly on 28 January 1921. The opposition left the Chamber, since they considered that the vote was rigged, and Saavedra was elected with 47 votes in favor and one against. His Government was marked by their dictatorial and repressive nature. He strengthened relations with the United States and favoured the introduction of American-funded enterprises.

Its disastrous economic policies did increase the foreign debt, mostly as a result of the hiring of a loan of 33 million dollars in US banks, thanks to the mediation of Stiffel Nicolaus. This decision put in foreign hands, Bolivian customs revenues, as well as taxes by the sale of alcohol and tobacco. Saavedra policy was severely criticized by the main leaders of the opposition, Salamanca , and Escalier, calling for his immediate resignation, and led to numerous riots and uprisings in different parts of the country. Saavedra responded to all protests heavy-handed and declared martial law, and harsh and repressive military actions. However, Saavedra had a certain social vision, as it demonstrated its interest in strengthening the education system, and the fact that during his mandate were approved first social legislation in the history of Bolivia. His intention was that anyone who under primary education had learned a trade, and that the secondary completion dominate a profession.

At the social level, they saw the light laws concerning accidents at work, the regulation of the working time of eight hours, retirement age and those that regulated the work of women and children. When in 1923 his supporters became a minority in the Parliament, the President dissolved the Chamber and his Government assumed legislative functions. The following year, it approved a new electoral law, which is decreed compulsory voting and gave input to minorities in the Parliament with the introduction of the incomplete list. José María Escalier promoted an uprising in March 1924 in the town of Yacuiba. In the month of may, once suppressed this uprising, was a separatist movement in Santa Cruz. To avoid new revolutions he created the Republican Guard, a paramilitary group that was directly under his command, which managed to circumvent the authority of the army. On the other hand, blamed this institution of many of the subversive movements, so it closed two courses of the military school.

With the intention of renewing the armed forces Hans Kundt was named Minister of war, one of whose most important decisions was the creation of the military aviation school. He complained on behalf of his country over territorial waters which was played with Chile before the League of Nations, which did not prosper. In a desperate attempt to assert the rights of Bolivia before the international community, he tried to convince the President of the United States, Harding, that act as a mediator in the conflict, which failed.

End of your Government

He left power, on September 3, 1925, at the end of his term, but before he tried to get the re-election of one of their supporters. It supported the candidacy of Hernando Siles Reyes, who as Vice President beat his brother, Abdón Saavedra. Siles, however, got separated from the tutelage of the former President, with whom he had signed a document of commitment. That was in Europe broke publicly with the President when sentenced to exile his brother. Saavedra returned immediately to Bolivia, but he was banned entry to the country, so he returned to exile. In 1931, once allowed to return, he tried to be appointed Vice President on the nomination of the Republican party genuine, for the elections that were to take place on 4 January. When the military took power in 1936, the new President David sent again into exile to Saavedra, who settled in Chile, the country where he ended his days. During his lifetime, he published many works which include Ayllu, sociological studies on America (1914), the peru-Bolivian litigation (1916) and democracy in our history (1917).


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