Daza, Hilarión (1840–1894)

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Daza, Hilarión (1840–1894)

Hilarión Daza (b. 14 January 1840; d. 27 February 1894), president of Bolivia (1876–1879). Born in Sucre, Daza was trained as a soldier and rose to the rank of colonel under Mariano Melgarejo (1864–1871). In 1870 he defected to revolutionaries, who deposed Melgarejo on 15 January 1871. Gen. Agustín Morales, the leader of the revolution, died in 1872, and his civilian successors showed little ability to consolidate power. Daza, head of the elite Colorado battalion, seized power in 1876. In constant need of funds for his army, Daza imposed a new tax on the Chilean mining concessions along the Pacific Coast (1878). This tax, which immediately provoked a Chilean attack against Bolivia's coastal territory, resulted in the War of the Pacific (1879–1884). Repeated Chilean victories led not only to Daza's downfall at the end of December 1879, but also to Bolivia's loss of the guano and nitrate-rich coastal area. Daza's major political accomplishment was the calling of the Constitutional Convention of 1878, whose work led to the adoption of the Constitution of 1880, the longest lasting in Bolivian history (1938). Daza was assassinated in 1894 in Uyuni by persons who claimed he was trying to regain the presidency.

See alsoWar of the Pacific .


Herbert S. Klein, Parties and Political Change in Bolivia, 1880–1952 (1969), pp. 14-19.

Enrique Vidaurre Retamozo, El presidente Daza (1975).

Additional Bibliography

Antezana Ergueta, Luis. Daza no ocultó la noticia de la invasión chilena: (definitiva dilucidación histórica). La Paz, 1982.

                                  Erwin P. Grieshaber