Escobar, Patricio (1843–1912)

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Escobar, Patricio (1843–1912)

Patricio Escobar (b. 1843; d. 19 April 1912), president of Paraguay (1886–1890) and soldier. Born in San José, Escobar entered the army just before the outbreak of the War of the Triple Alliance and rose in rank from private to general during the course of the conflict. Like his mentor, the cavalry general Bernardino Caballero, Escobar remained loyal to the cause of President Francisco Solano López and doggedly resisted the Brazilians until he was captured at Cerro Corá, the war's last battle.

Returning to Paraguay after several years' captivity, Escobar attached himself to Caballero and to Conservative figures associated with President Cándido Bareiro. After Caballero's accession to the presidency in 1880, Escobar received the portfolio of war minister. Six years later, he himself succeeded to the highest office and generally continued the conservative, paternalistic policies of his friend and predecessor, though Escobar was perhaps more tolerant of opposition criticism. He opened the National University in 1889 and helped to expand the Paraguay Central Railway and other public works. In partisan politics, Escobar collaborated in the organization of the Asociación Nacional Republicana (or Partido Colorado), one of the country's two traditional parties. Unfortunately, his administration was also marked by corruption.

Stepping down from office in 1890, the by-now-wealthy Escobar continued to influence Paraguayan politics through various surrogates and intrigues. He died in Asunción less than two months after the death of Caballero.

See alsoCerro Córa, Battle of; Paraguay: The Nineteenth Century; War of the Triple Alliance.


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

Carlos Zubizarreta, Cien vidas paraguayas, 2d ed. (1985), pp. 202-205; The Cambridge History of Latin America, vol. 5 (1986), pp. 475-496.

Additional Bibliography

Gondra, César, and Victor I. Franco. El General Patricio Escobar. Asunción: Arte Nuevo Editores, 1990.

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

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Escobar, Patricio (1843–1912)

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