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Garay, Eugenio (1874–1937)

Garay, Eugenio (1874–1937)

Eugenio Garay (b. 16 November 1874; d. April 1937), Paraguayan politician and military figure. Born in Asunción, Garay spent part of his early years in the interior town of Pirayú. He later attended the Colegio Nacional in Asunción, where he received a bachelor's degree. Shortly thereafter, he received a scholarship to attend the military academy in Chile, from which he graduated with honors in 1898.

Returning to Paraguay in 1902, Garay entered the army with the rank of captain. When the 1904 revolution removed him temporarily from military service, he entered the world of journalism, working as a reporter for Los succesos. In 1908 the government sent him to Europe as a diplomat, but within three years he was back in the country acting as a adviser to the war ministry.

The series of interparty conflicts in the 1910s and 1920s gave Garay the opportunity to rise rapidly through the ranks, but this process was frequently interrupted by reverses when the wrong party was in power. He served as commander at Barrero Grande, minister of war, and then ambassador to Bolivia.

When the Chaco War broke out in 1932, Garay was recalled to active service. He headed a regiment that opposed the Bolivian forces at Pampa Grande and then at Campo Vía. Suffering from overwork that bordered on combat fatigue, he was relieved from command at his own request in late 1933, only to be recalled once again by President Eusebio Ayala a few months later. Garay, now a full colonel, commanded the principal Paraguayan units at the battles of Carmen and Yrendagüe.

With the conclusion of the war, Garay was demobilized and returned to Asunción. His health now seriously deteriorated because of the intensity of the earlier fighting, he survived the end of hostilities by only two years. He died of a heart attack.

See alsoChaco War .


Leandro Aponte Benítez, General Eugenio Garay: Héroe del Chaco, 2d ed. (1956), esp. pp. 29-151.

Roque Vallejos, Antología de la prosa paraguaya (1973), pp. 85-86.

Carlos Zubizarreta, Cien vidas paraguayas, 2d ed. (1985), pp. 284-289.

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.

Rodríguez Alcalá de González Oddone, Beatriz. El íntimo universo de Eugenio Alejandrino Garay. Asunción, Paraguay: Intercontinental Editora, 1991.

                           Marta FernÁndez Whigham

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