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Borrero y Cortázar, Antonio (1827–1911)

Borrero y Cortázar, Antonio (1827–1911)

Antonio Borrero y Cortázar (b. 28 October 1827; d. 9 October 1911), president of Ecuador (1875–1876). A moderate politician, Borrero was selected by Conservative president Gabriel García Moreno (1861–1865, 1869–1875) to run for the vice presidency in 1863. Borrero won in a landslide despite the fact that he did not want the job. He immediately resigned, disgusted by García Moreno's rigging of the election. When García Moreno was assassinated in 1875, Borrero won the subsequent election for president. He hoped to be a healer, peacemaker, and reconciler for a nation so often bloodied by regional and ideological battles. However, in seeking to find a middle road between Liberals and Conservatives, he managed only to antagonize both.

General Ignacio de Veintimilla overthrew Borrero in 1876. After seven years in exile in Peru, Borrero returned to serve as governor of Azuay province (1888–1892). A man of laws, a well-read—if not well-traveled—intellectual, Borrero was known by contemporaries as the "Cato of Cuenca," or the "Washington of Azuay." Borrero is sometimes viewed by historians as the first Progresita, the grouping of pragmatic political moderates that governed Ecuador from 1883 to 1895. He died in Cuenca, his birthplace.

See alsoAlfaro Delgado, José Eloy .


On Ecuadorian politics, see Osvaldo Hurtado's interpretive history, Political Power in Ecuador, translated by Nick D. Mills, Jr. (1895); and Frank MacDonald Spindler's descriptive Nineteenth Century Ecuador: An Historical Introduction (1987). For summary treatment of nineteenth-century Ecuadorian political economy, consult David W. Schodt, Ecuador: An Andean Enigma (1987).

Additional Bibliography

Borrero Vintimilla, Antonio. Filosofía, política y pensamiento del presidente Antonio Borrero y Cortázar, 1875–1876: Aspectos de la política del Ecuador del siglo XIX. Cuenca, Ecuador: Universidad del Azuay, 1999.

                                       Ronn F. Pineo

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