Alonso, Mariano Roque (1792–1853)

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Alonso, Mariano Roque (1792–1853)

Mariano Roque Alonso (b. 1792?; d. 1853), Paraguayan consul (1841–1844) and military figure. Alonso emerged during the hectic months following the September 1840 death of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, Paraguay's first authoritarian dictator and leader of the country since 1814. Francia had left no formal provision for a successor, and when he died, power devolved to the four chiefs of the Asunción barracks, who proved to be ineffectual and corrupt administrators. In January 1841, they were replaced by a triumvirate headed by a sergeant and two former alcaldes of the city. This regime was itself displaced within a month by Alonso, then a junior officer with many years of service but with little real authority or talent. Evidently feeling himself inadequate to the task of governing, he made a fateful decision to appoint as his secretary Carlos Antonio López, a noted attorney from the interior. Alonso needed the latter's help in organizing a national congress that would create and legitimize a new government. When the congress met in March 1841, however, Alonso played the role of subordinate to López, and agreed to join with him in a two-man consular regime authorized by the congress. After the consuls took office, Alonso in effect abdicated his position, preferring to return to the barracks and the company of rustic soldiers like himself. He made sure that his military colleagues refrained from further interference in politics. This show of support brought him many rewards from López, who continued to favor him with a substantial annual pension after the consulate was replaced by a presidential regime in 1844.

In his later years, Alonso lived quietly on his cattle ranch in the interior, where he died in 1853.

See alsoLópez, Carlos Antonio .


Charles J. Kolinski, Historical Dictionary of Paraguay (1975), p. 217.

John Hoyt Williams, The Rise and Fall of the Paraguayan Republic, 1800–1870 (1979), pp. 103-105.

                                  Thomas L. Whigham