Gaínza, Gabino (1753–1824)

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Gaínza, Gabino (1753–1824)

Gabino Gaínza (b. 26 October 1753; d. 1824), acting captain-general of Guatemala (1821–1822). Born in Pamplona, Spain, Gaínza joined the military at the age of sixteen and served in various posts throughout South America for most of his adult life. He commanded the Spanish force that reconquered Chile in 1814.

Gaínza arrived in Central America from Chile in early 1821 amidst the political turmoil of impending independence from Spain to assume the post of army inspector general. That March, the very ill captain-general of Guatemala, Carlos Luis de Urrutia y Montoya (1750–1825), delegated his authority to Gaínza. After independence on 15 September 1821, Gaínza, who had tolerated creole rebellion, remained in office as chief executive. He played an active role in the decision to annex Central America to Agustín de Iturbide's Mexican empire, and he often mediated between the polemical political factions of the era. He was relieved of his command on 22 June 1822 by the new captain-general, Vicente Filísola. Afterward, he went to Mexico to become an aide-de-camp to Emperor Agustín I (Iturbide).

See alsoChile: Foundations Through Independence; Iturbide, Agustín de.


Enrique Del Cid Fernández, Don Gabino de Gaínza y otros estudios (1959).

Additional Bibliography

Jones, Oakah L. Guatemala in the Spanish Colonial Period. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.

                                       Michael F. Fry