Duarte, Pedro (1829–1903)

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Duarte, Pedro (1829–1903)

Pedro Duarte (b. 1829; d. 1903), Paraguayan soldier and statesman. At the beginning of the War of the Triple Alliance, Duarte, a relatively obscure officer, was chosen as second in command of an expeditionary force sent south to attack Brazil. As the Paraguayans approached the Brazilian frontier in June 1865, their commander, Colonel Antonio de la Cruz Estigarribia, split his forces, sending one column of 2,500 men under Major Duarte down the right bank of the Uruguay River, while he himself led the bulk of the troops down the left bank, toward the Riograndense town of Uruguaiana. The Argentines and Brazilians were waiting for both columns. Unable to secure help from Estigarribia and unwilling to consider withdrawal, Duarte was effectively isolated, and, on 17 August, at a spot called Yatai, 10,000 Argentine troops struck his column, annihilating almost everyone. Gravely wounded, Duarte was taken to Buenos Aires, where he spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. After the Allied victory in 1870, he returned to Paraguay and subsequently served as minister of war and marine in the governments of Cándido Bareiro, Bernardino Caballero, and Patricio Escobar.

See alsoParaguay: The Twentieth Century; War of the Triple Alliance.


Charles J. Kolinski, Independence or Death! The Story of the Paraguayan War (1965).

Harris G. Warren, Rebirth of the Paraguayan Republic: The First Colorado Era, 1878–1904 (1985), pp. 52, 65.

Additional Bibliography

Carrón, Juan María. El régimen liberal, 1870–1930: Sociedad, economía. Asunción: Arandurã Editorial, 2004.

Lewis, Paul H. Political Parties and Generations in Paraguay's Liberal Era, 1869–1940. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.

                                    Thomas L. Whigham