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Roca Rodríguez, Vicente Ramón (1792–1858)

Roca Rodríguez, Vicente Ramón (1792–1858)

Vicente Ramón Roca Rodríguez (b. 2 September 1792; d. 23 February 1858), member of ruling triumvirate (March 1845–October 1845), president of Ecuador (1846–1849). A coastal businessman born in Guayaquil, Roca helped lead the 9 October 1820 uprising that brought independence to Guayaquil. He served as a deputy to the Riobamba convention of 1830 that separated Ecuador from Gran Colombia. Roca held several posts in the new government: vice president of the Congress (1833), governor of Guayas (1835), and senator from Guayas (1837–1839). Roca played a leading role in the 6 March 1845 overthrow of President Juan José Flores. The subsequent Roca administration faced serious financial problems and repeated coup attempts.

As Congress was pondering impeachment in 1846, news arrived of a planned invasion by former president Flores, backed by 30 million pesos from the Spanish government. South America rallied to Ecuador's side, and Spain withdrew its support for Flores. But if the Spanish threat had temporarily united Ecuador, the cost of building defenses had diverted scarce resources away from urgent domestic concerns, thus weakening the young nation in the long run. Roca raised money through forced contributions and the advance collection of the Indian tribute, both extremely unpopular measures. When Roca left office in 1849, Ecuador fell into fractious dispute, and drifted into a disastrous civil war. He died in Guayaquil.

See alsoFlores, Juan José .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

On nineteenth-century Ecuadorian politics, see Mark J. Van Aken's splendid study, King of the Night: Juan José Flores and Ecuador, 1824–1864 (1989). Also consult Frank MacDonald Spindler's descriptive narrative, Nineteenth Century Ecuador: An Historical Introduction (1987).

Additional Bibliography

Febres Cordero, Francisco. De Flores a flores y miel. Quito: Ojo de Pez, EDIMPRES, 1996.

Ortíz M., José Luis. Guayaquil: Historia y futuro. Ecuador: Fundación Vicente Rocafuerta, 2000.

                                                     Ronn F. Pineo

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