Arroyo del Río, Carlos Alberto (1893–1969)

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Arroyo del Río, Carlos Alberto (1893–1969)

Carlos Alberto Arroyo del Río (b. 27 November 1893; d. 31 October 1969), president of Ecuador (nonelected 1939 and elected 1940–1944). Born in Guayaquil, Arroyo del Río studied law, entered private practice, and taught at the University of Guayaquil, eventually becoming rector in 1932. He became active in the Liberal Radical Party, serving as a member of the Junta de Beneficencia, secretary of the Municipal Council (1917–1918), and president of the Municipal Council (1921–1922). In 1922–1923 he represented Guayas Province in congress, serving as president of the Chamber of Deputies in 1923. Elected senator in 1924, he actively opposed the revolution of July 1925 and the Ayora administration, and ten years later (1934–1935) led the congressional opposition to President José María Velasco Ibarra that resulted in the dissolution of congress.

When Aurelio Mosquera Narváez died in office on 15 November 1938, Arroyo del Río assumed executive power as president of the Senate and presided over an extraordinary congress that abrogated the Constitution of 1938 and reinstated the Constitution of 1906. He resigned on 28 May 1944 to run for president. He was elected and took office on 1 September 1940. The supporters of his leading opponent, Velasco Ibarra, charged that the election was fraudulent and attempted a coup. The insurrection failed, and the leaders, including Velasco Ibarra and Carlos Guevara Moreno, were exiled.

Within a few months of Arroyo del Río's inauguration, Peru invaded territory claimed by Ecuador. In 1944, Arroyo del Río was removed from office as a result of the country's defeat in the 1941 border war with Peru, and Velasco Ibarra was recalled from exile to replace the discredited president. Arroyo del Río left the country, going first to Colombia, then to New York City; he returned to Guayaquil in 1948 to resume his legal practice. He remained the target of public attacks until his death.

See alsoEcuador, Constitutions; Ecuador-Peru Boundary Disputes.


Oscar Efren Reyes, Breve historia general del Ecuador, vol. 2 (1957), esp. pp. 813-827.

David H. Zook, Jr., Zarumilla-Marañon: The Ecuador-Peru Dispute (1964).

Enrique Ayala Mora, ed., Nueva historia del Ecuador: Época republicana IV, vol. 10 (1983), esp. pp. 105-108.

Additional Bibliography

Gándara Enríquez, Marcos. El Ecuador del año 1941 y el Protocolo de Río:antecedentes, hechos subsiguientes: Arroyo y su tiempo. Quito: Centro de Estudios Históricos del Ejército, 2000.

                           Linda Alexander RodrÍguez