Pando, José Manuel (1848–1917)

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Pando, José Manuel (1848–1917)

José Manuel Pando (b. 25 December 1848; d. 15 June 1917), president of Bolivia (1899–1904). Born in Araca, La Paz, Major General José Manuel Pando was the military leader of the Liberal and Federalist forces during the Federalist War (1898–1899). He became the first president of the era of Liberal Party dominance (1899–1920), which coincided with the beginning of the tin-export boom. Pando was a professional military man who fought in the War of the Pacific (1879–1884) and later explored the Bolivian Amazon region for the government. Astutely allying himself with the La Paz Federalists and the Aymara Indian communities in 1898, Pando managed to overthrow the Conservative administration of Sévero Fernández Alonso in 1899. After the Conservative defeat, Pando turned against both the Federalists and the Indians, thereby establishing the dominance of the Liberal Party for the next two decades. In 1903, Pando led Bolivian forces in the Acre campaign in the rubber-rich Bolivian Amazon against Brazilian-supported separatists. Bolivia lost and had to cede the region to Brazil the same year. Pando was assassinated under mysterious circumstances in 1917.

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


There is neither a biography of Pando nor a detailed account of his administration. His role in the Federalist War is treated in Ramiro Condarco Morales, Zárate, el "Temible" Willka: Historia de la rebelión indígena de 1899, 2d ed. (1983). See also Enrique Finot, Nueva historia de Bolivia: Ensayo de interpretación sociológica de Tiwanaku a 1930 (1980), pp. 337-346.

Additional Bibliography

Antezana Salvatierra, Alejandro Vladimir. Los liberales y el problema agrario de Bolivia, 1899–1920. La Paz: Plural Editores, 1996.

Irurozqui, Marta. La armonía de las desigualdades: Elites y conflictos de poder en Bolivia, 1880–1920. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1994.

                                               Erick D. Langer