Arada, Battle of

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Arada, Battle of

Battle of Arada (February 2, 1851). José Francisco Barrundia, Doroteo Vasconcelos, José Dolores Nufio, and other Central American liberals sought to oust Guatemalan caudillo Rafael Carrera, but Guatemalan troops resisted the raids of their National Army in 1850. After Barrundia was elected president of the Representación Nacional at Chinandega, Nicaragua, on January 9, 1851, the group plotted a new invasion, even though the Chinandega Diet refused to sanction it. They entered Guatemala on January 22, 1851 with the intention of taking Guatemala City. Skillfully outmaneuvering his enemy, Carrera routed them at San José la Arada, south of Chiquimula, in the most stunning victory of his military career. Remnants of the National Army straggled into Honduras and El Salvador, pursued by Carrera, who carried out a deliberate campaign of reprisal until the Salvadoran government came to terms on August 17, 1853.

His victory at Arada brought Carrera enormous prestige and assured his return to the Guatemalan presidency and establishment of an authoritarian dictatorship. Arada ended the efforts of Barrundia and the middle-state liberals to reorganize the federation and destroyed Salvadoran pretensions of leadership of a new federation.

See alsoBarrundia, José Francisco .


Pedro Zamora Castellanos, Vida militar de Centro América (1924).

José N. Rodríguez, Estudios de historia militar de Centro-América (1930), pp. 218-223.

Manuel Rubio Sánchez, El Mariscal de campo José Clara Lorenzana (1987), pp. 47-71.

Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., Rafael Carrera and the Emergence of the Republic of Guatemala (1992).

Additional Bibliography

Gudmundson, Lowell, and Héctor Lindo-Fuentes. Central America, 1821–1871: Liberalism before Liberal Reform. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1995.

Leiva Vivas, Rafael. La unión centroamericana: Utopía, lirismo y desafío. Tegucigalpa, Guatemala: ENAG (Empresa Nacional Artes Gráficas), 2004.

                                 Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.