Saavedra Mallea, Bautista (1870–1939)

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Saavedra Mallea, Bautista (1870–1939)

Bautista Saavedra Mallea (b. 30 August 1870; d. 1 March 1939), president of Bolivia (January 1921–September 1925). Born in Sorata, La Paz Province, Saavedra was a lawyer, journalist, and author. Following a peaceful palace revolt that ended several decades of government by the Liberal Party and installed the Republican Party, which appealed more to the literate, lower middle class, Saavedra became head of a governing junta in July 1920. In January 1921 he was elected president. He is considered one of the strongest civilian presidents of Bolivia, having captured the leadership of his party from the venerable Daniel Salamanca.

Although Saavedra's presidency was stormy, it also boasted solid achievements, including the first social and labor legislation and construction of direct rail links to Argentina. Saavedra left office in September 1925, turning it over to the president of the Senate, Felipe Segundo Guzmán. A year later, annoyed at postelection statements by the president-elect, Gabino Villanueva, Saavedra had the election annulled on a technicality and imposed Hernando Siles Reyes as his successor in the presidency. Saavedra died in Santiago, Chile.

See alsoBolivia, Political Parties: Republican Party .


Porfirio Díaz Machicao, Saavedra, 1920–1925 (1954).

Additional Bibliography

Irurozqui, Marta. "A bala, piedra y palo": La construcción de la ciudadanía política en Bolívia, 1826–1952. Seville: Diputación de Sevilla, 2000.

                                     Charles W. Arnade