Benítez, Gregorio (1834–1910)

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Benítez, Gregorio (1834–1910)

Gregorio Benítez (b. 1834; d. 1910), Paraguayan diplomat and author. Born in the interior town of Villarrica, Benítez received his education there and at Asunción. In the early 1850s, he was noticed by officials of the Carlos Antonio López government, who decided to groom him for a career in the state bureaucracy. In 1856, he received an assignment to act as secretary to the president's son, General Francisco Solano López, who was at that time war minister. Benítez later accompanied the younger López to Buenos Aires on a mission to mediate a dispute between that province and the Argentine Confederation.

His position as a diplomat established, Benítez was designated secretary of legation at London in 1860. After the beginning of the War of the Triple Alliance in 1864, he went to the continent to solicit European support for the Paraguayan cause. He became his country's chief diplomatic representative in Prussia, France, and Britain before journeying to the United States in 1868. In Washington and other cities, Benítez tried to gain North American help in arranging peace negotiations with Argentina and Brazil, but these efforts were rebuffed by the two nations, who went on to defeat the Paraguayans in 1870.

Benítez reemerged on the diplomatic scene more than twenty years later when he negotiated an 1894 boundary agreement with the Bolivians that set limits on expansion in the Gran Chaco territory. Though this treaty, jointly issued with Bolivian diplomat Telmo Ichazo, was tragically short-lived, it nonetheless permitted some respite from the escalation of tensions between the two countries.

Benítez wrote several informative memoirs, including La triple alianza de 1865: Escapada de un desastre en la guerra de invasión al Paraguay (1904) and Anales diplomático y militar de la guerra del Paraguay (1906).

See alsoParaguay: The Nineteenth Centuryxml .


Luis G. Benítez, Historia de la cultura en el Paraguay (1976).

Harris Gaylord Warren, Rebirth of the Paraguayan Republic: The First Colorado Era, 1878–1904 (1985).

                          Marta FernÁndez Whigham

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Benítez, Gregorio (1834–1910)

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