Guggiari, José Patricio (1884–1957)

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Guggiari, José Patricio (1884–1957)

José Patricio Guggiari (b. 17 March 1884; d. 1957), Paraguayan statesman and president (1928–1932). The son of Italian immigrants, Guggiari was born in Asunción, but as a young child moved to the interior town of Villarrica, where he received his early education. He returned to Paraguay to pursue legal studies and received a doctorate in law from the National University in 1910.

Guggiari began his political career by affiliating with the Liberal Party as early as 1903. At that time the Liberals were divided into various bickering factions unable to reach a consensus on overall policy for the country. Guggiari worked hard to reconcile these various groups. Though he was only partly successful, he gained a reputation as a level-headed and efficient democrat. He rose to the highest ranks within the party, as well as within the legislative branch of government. He was elected deputy in 1912, and in 1918 was chosen president of the Chamber of Deputies. Two years later, President Manuel Gondra chose him to become interior minister.

The 1928 presidential election in which Guggiari defeated Eduardo Fleitas was widely regarded as the most honest up to that time. As president, he dedicated himself to the consolidation of Paraguay's democratic institutions after years of instability. These efforts, however, were eclipsed by the worsening dispute with Bolivia over the Gran Chaco region. The ensuing tensions indirectly brought about Guggiari's downfall. On 23 October 1931, university students protested his government's cautious response to Bolivian incursions by staging a rally in front of the National Palace. The police fired upon the assemblage, killing eight and wounding thirty. Mortified by these events, Guggiari resigned the presidency two days later. He died in Buenos Aires after a long exile.

See alsoGondra, Manuel; Paraguay: The Twentieth Century.


William Belmont Parker, Paraguayans of To-Day (repr. 1967), pp. 199-200.

Efraím Cardozo, Efermérides de la historia del Paraguay (1967), pp. 401-402.

Charles J. Kolinski, Historical Dictionary of Paraguay (1973), p. 117.

Additional Bibliography

Amaral, Raúl, and Roberto Paredes. Los presidentes del Paraguay. Asunción: Servilibro, 2005.

Pesoa, Manuel. José P. Guggiari, defensor civil del Chaco. Asunción, Paraguay: Intercontinental Editora, 2005.

                                    Thomas L. Whigham

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Guggiari, José Patricio (1884–1957)

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