Cerro Corá, Battle of
Cerro Corá, Battle of
Battle of Cerro Corá, the final engagement of the War of the Triple Alliance on 1 March 1870. The remnants of the Paraguayan army under Field Marshal Francisco Solano López had been in flight for nearly a year when Brazilian cavalry units closed in on them at a spot along the Aquidaban-Nigui creek in northeastern Paraguay. In the battle, really more of a skirmish, the Brazilians quickly overwhelmed the defenders. The Paraguayan vice president, several ministers, and high military officers were all killed. So was Field Marshal López, who, when called upon to surrender, purportedly refused in the most florid terms, crying, "Muero con mi patria!" (I die with my country!). Extremist writers and hagiographers later converted that expression into a virtual national slogan for Paraguay. In reality, López's demise at Cerro Corá ended a bloody war that had taken the lives of at least 100,000 people.
Charles A. Washburn, The History of Paraguay, with Notes and Personal Observations (1871), vol. 2, passim; Charles J. Kolinski, "The Death of Francisco Solano López," The Historian 26, no. 1 (1963): 75-91, and Independence or Death! The Story of the Paraguayan War (1965).
Bethell, Leslie. The Paraguayan War (1864–1870). London: Institute of Latin American Studies, 1996.
Leuchars, Chris. To the Bitter End: Paraguay and the War of the Triple Alliance. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.
Marco, Miguel Angel de. La Guerra del Paraguay. Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1995.
Whigham, Thomas. The Paraguayan War. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.
Thomas L. Whigham
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