Rodríguez Sandoval, Luis Arsenio (1898–1977)

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Rodríguez Sandoval, Luis Arsenio (1898–1977)

Luis Arsenio Rodríguez Sandoval (b. 21 June 1898; d. 21 November 1977), Ecuadoran military officer and defender of Ecuador during the Peruvian invasion of 1941. Born into a prominent conservative highland family, Rodríguez was among the early graduates of Ecuador's military academy. In October 1924 he and other lieutenants formed a military league to reform the nation. On 9 July 1925 the officers overthrew the government of Gonzalo Córdova, thereby initiating a period of social change designed to modernize the nation. When the military installed the progressive dictator Isidro Ayora Cueva to carry out reforms, Rodríguez was named aide-de-camp.

Disillusioned by politicization of the military and the failure of reform, Rodríguez thereafter became a supporter of the constitutional order. During the 1930s he opposed military intervention in national politics and supported the government. During those years, he devoted himself to the improvement of the armed forces, publishing several pamphlets on the future of the army and the need for professionalization. Rodríguez was one of the founders of the air corps and one of the highest-ranking army officers when Peru invaded Ecuador in July 1941. He voluntarily left command of the military zone of Guayaquil to defend the nation with small frontier garrisons while the regular army moved to the border. The government, however, failed to send forces, and the nation suffered a crushing defeat.

Abandoned in the jungle, Rodríguez became a "nonperson" until 1944, when a revolt overthrew the government. He was imprisoned for the national defeat, but was ultimately exonerated. Nevertheless, Rodríguez was blackballed for many years, finding it difficult to obtain employment. With the passage of time and the publication of the second edition of his book La invasíon peruana (1955), public opinion changed. In particular the new military leaders came to admire his patriotism. His book was studied at the War College. In recognition of his earlier service, he was appointed to the High Court of Military Justice, where he served from 1963 to 1965. In 1965 the military government awarded him the Order of Abdón Calderón in recognition of his actions in 1941.

Rodríguez devoted his later years to helping organize the archives of the army and to historical research on the military. Of the many important works he published during his life, the most significant for him was his account of the 1941 conflict.

See alsoEcuador-Peru Boundary Disputes .


Luis A. Rodríguez S., La agresión peruana documentada (1948).

Linda Alexander Rodríguez, "The Liberal Crisis and the Revolution of 1925 in Ecuador" (M.A. thesis, Univ. of Texas, Austin, 1972).

Additional Bibliography

Salvador Lara, Jorge. Breve historia contemporánea del Ecuador. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994.

                                 Jaime E. RodrÍguez O.

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Rodríguez Sandoval, Luis Arsenio (1898–1977)

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Rodríguez Sandoval, Luis Arsenio (1898–1977)