Taborga Pizarro, Miguel de los Santos (1833–1906)

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Taborga Pizarro, Miguel de los Santos (1833–1906)

Miguel de los Santos Taborga Pizarro was a Bolivian polemicist, historiographer, and cleric. Born on July 5, 1833, into a prominent Creole family, Taborga studied at the San Cristóbal seminary. He was ordained in 1857 and later earned his doctorate in theology at the Universidad San Francisco de Xavier. In 1898 Taborga was named Archbishop of Sucre (La Plata). He was a staunch defender of traditional Catholic doctrines through the newspapers El Amigo de la Verdad and El Cruzado, arguing against the secularization of Bolivian society. In his essay "El positivismo, sus errores y falsas doctrinas" (Positivism, its errors and false doctrines, 1905), Taborga criticized positivism for its reliance on scientific experimental methods, rather than other forms of knowledge.

Taborga was politically active during the Republican period. He participated in the constituent assembly of 1871, served on a mission to Europe, and was twice elected a senator from Chuquisaca. Taborga involved himself in Bolivia's territorial conflict with Chile. He responded to a Chilean bishop with a memorandum citing historical evidence that the disputed territory belonged to Bolivia. He later wrote the poem "Oración por la Patria."

As a historiographer, Taborga concerned himself with national history, writing several treatises on the subject. He was named a corresponding member of the Royal Spanish Academy. Notable works include: Crónica de la revolución del 8 de septiembre (1887), Documentos inéditos para la historia de Bolivia (1891), Un capítulo de la historia de la época colonial (1905), and the posthumously published Estudios históricos (1908). Taborga died on April 30, 1906.

See alsoCatholic Church: The Modern Period; Positivism; War of the Pacific.


Arze, José Roberto. Figuras eclesiásticas en Bolivia. La Paz: Los Amigos del Libro, 1985.

Finot, Enrique. Historia de la literatura boliviana, 3rd edition. La Paz: Gisbert, 1964.

Guzmán, Augusto. El ensayo en Bolivia. La Paz: Los Amigos del Libro, 1983.

                                           Miguel Centellas