Gutiérrez Guerra, José (1869–1929)

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Gutiérrez Guerra, José (1869–1929)

José Gutiérrez Guerra (b. 5 September 1869; d. 3 February 1929), president of Bolivia (1917–1920). Born in Sucre, Gutiérrez Guerra was the last president of the period of Liberal Party domination (1899–1920). His administration was marked by rigged elections and government scandals. Gutiérrez Guerra initially included the main opposition party, the Republicans, in a cabinet of "national concentration" in an effort to sidestep a surge of nationalist fervor over recouping the Pacific coastal area lost during the War of the Pacific (1879–1884) with Chile. However, by 1919 party politics again turned acrimonious. The Liberal Party split over whether to fine Simón Iturri Patiño, the most important Bolivian tin-mine owner and important supporter of the party, who brought 80,000 cans of alcohol into the country after his contract to do so had expired. As a result, the Republican Party was able to organize an almost bloodless coup in July 1920 that toppled the government and ended twenty years of Liberal Party hegemony.

See alsoBolivia, Political Parties: Liberal Party; War of the Pacific.


The best treatment of the Gutiérrez Guerra government is contained in Herbert S. Klein, Parties and Political Change in Bolivia: 1880–1952 (1969), pp. 53-61. For the position of an opposition politician, see David Alvéstegui, Salamanca, su gravitación sobre el destino de Bolivia, vol. 2 (1958), pp. 179-255.

Additional Bibliography

Irurozqui, Marta. La armonía de las desigualdades: Elites y conflictos de poder en Bolivia, 1880–1920. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas; Cusco: Centro de Estudios Regionales Andinos Bartolomé de las Casas, 1994.

                                         Erick D. Langer

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Gutiérrez Guerra, José (1869–1929)

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