Yegros, Fulgencio (1780–1821)

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Yegros, Fulgencio (1780–1821)

Fulgencio Yegros (b. 1780; d. 17 July 1821), Paraguayan militiaman and political figure. Born into a well-established and wealthy creole family, Yegros chose a career with the colonial militia at an early age. During the first decade of the nineteenth century, he commanded troops against the Portuguese and their Indian allies. His chief claim to military fame, however, came in 1811, when his cavalry defeated a porteño expeditionary force at the battles of Paraguarí and Tacuarí. The vanquished porteño commander, Manuel Belgrano, invited Yegros to a parley after the conclusion of the fighting, and convinced him to join the patriot cause. Soon thereafter, Yegros joined with other militia leaders in a cuartelazo (barracks revolt) against the colonial governor, which led to independence shortly thereafter.

Though ill at ease in the political realm, Yegros joined the junta together with fellow officer Pedro Juan Caballero, cleric Francisco Xavier Bogarín, businessman Fernando de la Mora, and a distant relative, José Gaspar de Francia. The latter quickly eclipsed the other members of the junta and began formulating Paraguayan policy without much consulting of his associates. In October 1813 an extraordinary congress assembled in Asunción and replaced the junta with a two-man consular government led by Francia and Yegros. It was clear from the beginning that Francia held all the real power. Yegros's tenure was brief; within a year, Francia abolished the consulate and founded a "supreme dictatorship" that lasted until his death in 1840.

Yegros, who had hoped to retire peacefully to his ranch at Quyquyó, found himself implicated in an antigovernment conspiracy in 1820. Fearing that this might signal the beginning of a revolt, Francia had his old associate arrested, tortured, and finally shot, less than 100 yards from the government house.

See alsoBelgrano, Manuel; Francia, José Gaspar Rodríguez de.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Luis G. Benítez, Historia de la cultura en el Paraguay (1976), p. 97.

Carlos Zubizarreta, Cien vidas paraguayas, 2d ed. (1985), pp. 87-92.

Additional Bibliography

Garay, Blas, and Gregorio Benítes. La revolución de la independencia del Paraguay. Asunción, Paraguay: El Lector, 1996.

                                   Thomas L. Whigham

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Yegros, Fulgencio (1780–1821)

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