Veintemilla, José Ignacio de (1828–1908)

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Veintemilla, José Ignacio de (1828–1908)

José Ignacio de Veintemilla (also spelled Veintimilla; b. 31 July 1828; d. 19 July 1908), president of Ecuador (1878–1883). Born in Quito, Veintemilla studied at the Military College and was commissioned second lieutenant in 1847. He rose rapidly through the ranks, partly through involvement in politics, and became brigadier general in 1866. Under President Jerónimo Carrión (1865–1867) he became minister of war. After narrowly escaping execution by President García Moreno in 1869, he fled into exile.

Veintemilla returned from exile in 1875, ostensibly to support the liberal administration of President Antonio Borrero. However, with support from coastal liberals, he seized power in 1876 and arranged his own election in 1878. His presidency was plagued by great tension and violence between liberals and clerical conservatives, provoked in part by the government's suspension of the ultramontane concordat and by the mysterious poisoning of the archbishop of Quito.

Veintemilla claimed credit for reopening the University of Quito, providing free elementary schools, promoting railroad construction, and maintaining prudent neutrality during the War of the Pacific. He governed arbitrarily and in 1882 sought to perpetuate his rule through dictatorship, but he was forced from office and exiled the next year.

See alsoGarcia Moreno, Gabriel; War of the Pacific.


Frank Macdonald Spindler, Nineteenth-Century Ecuador. An Historical Introduction (1987), esp. pp. 98-129.

Juan Murillo M., Historia del Ecuador de 1876 a 1888 (1946), esp. pp. 86-286.

Luis Robalino Dávila, Borrero y Veintemilla, 2 vols. (1966).

Additional Bibliography

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

                                        Mark J. Van Aken