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Cruz, Serapio (?–1870)

Cruz, Serapio (?–1870)

Serapio Cruz (d. 23 January 1870), Guatemalan military officer and revolutionary leader. Known by the nickname of "Tata Lapo," Cruz served under the command of José Rafael Carrera in the Guatemalan revolt of 1837. Cruz broke with Carrera in 1848. Though a leader in the revolution of 1848, he refused to collaborate with the new liberal government and continued to resist until he reached an agreement with President Mariano Paredes on 2 February 1849. Upon Carrera's return to power in August 1849, Cruz reestablished his relationship with Carrera. He was an important military leader at the Battle of Arada in 1851 and in the campaign against El Salvador in 1863. Carrera suspected Cruz of a plot against him in 1863 but retained Cruz's loyalty by promising to leave him the presidency. Infuriated by Carrera's deathbed designation of Vicente Cerna as his successor, Cruz launched a revolt in 1867 against Cerna's government. In a daring attack at Palencia, near the capital, early in 1870, he died, thus becoming one of the principal martyrs of the Liberal Reforma of 1871.

See alsoArada, Battle of; Carrera, José Rafael.


Rodolfo González Centeno, El mariscal de campo Don Serapio Cruz: Sus notables campañas militares, 2d ed. (1985).

Ralph L. Woodward, Jr., Rafael Carrera and the Emergence of the Republic of Guatemala, 1821–1871 (1993).

Wayne M. Clegern, Origins of Liberal Dictatorship in Central America: Guatemala, 1865–1873 (1994).

                                            Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.

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