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Ribera y Espinosa, Lázaro de (?–1824)

Ribera y Espinosa, Lázaro de (?–1824)

Lázaro de Ribera y Espinosa (d. 1824), penultimate colonial governor of Paraguay. This Spanish-born hidalgo, soldier, and engineer, served as gobernador-intendente of Paraguay from 1795 to 1806. A prolix memorialist, contentious, and touchy about his "honor," he nonetheless was representative of the best type of authoritarian, efficient Bourbon administrator. During his eleven-year service he conducted a census of the province, improved public education, encouraged shipbuilding, and energetically promoted the export commerce of the province.

The War of Oranges with Portugal in the first years of the century caught Ribera in the midst of a reorganization of Paraguay's militia. He led an unsuccessful expedition up the Paraguay River to eject the Portuguese from Coimbra. Around the same time Ribera incurred the wrath of the viceroy, the Marqués de Avilés, by objecting to the military exemption for growers who contracted with the Real Renta de Tabacos in Paraguay and opposing the extinction of the communal property system in the Guaraní missions. In both cases Ribera was correct, but his contentious nature was noted in Spain and in 1806 he was relieved of his post. In 1812 he was appointed intendant of Huancavelica.

See alsoHidalgo .


John Lynch, Spanish Colonial Administration, 1782–1810: The Intendant System in the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (1958).

Jerry W. Cooney, Economía y sociedad en la Intendencia del Paraguay (1990).

Additional Bibliography

Palau Baquero, Mercedes, and Blanca Sáiz, editors. Moxos: Descripciones exactas e historia fiel de los indios, animales y plantas de la provincia de Moxos en el virreinato del Perú. Madrid: Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, ICONA-INSPV: Ediciones El Viso, 1989.

                                      Jerry W. Cooney

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