Zeledón, Benjamín Francisco (1879–1912)

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Zeledón, Benjamín Francisco (1879–1912)

Benjamín Francisco Zeledón (b. 4 October 1879; d. 4 October 1912), Nicaraguan Liberal general. The Liberal-Conservative coalition formed in the wake of the overthrow of dictator José Santos Zelaya (1909) proved to be extremely unstable. In July 1912, Minister of War Luis Mena revolted against Conservative President Adolfo Díaz. Mena's chief lieutenant, Benjamín Zeledón, followed suit, to protect the coffee interests. Zeledón quickly seized Managua, Granada, and Masaya. Díaz grew increasingly concerned and requested military assistance from U.S. President William Howard Taft, who dispatched a Marine contingent on 4 August 1912. The marines soon numbered 2,700. Mena, outnumbered and overwhelmed, fled the country, leaving the struggle to Zeledón. Both marines and Nicaraguan troops loyal to Díaz pursued Zeledón, who was killed at El Arroyo while attempting to break out of a U.S. encirclement. The victors paraded Zeledón's body on horseback in order to discourage further rebellions.

See alsoDíaz, Adolfo; Zelaya, José Santos.


Doctor General Benjamín F. Zeledón (Managua, 1980).

Gregorio Selser, Sandino: General of the Free, translated by Cedric Belfrage (1981).

Lester D. Langley, The Banana Wars: United States Intervention in the Caribbean, 1898–1934 (1983).

John A. Booth, The End and the Beginning: The Nicaraguan Revolution, 2d ed. (1985), esp. p. 31.

Donald C. Hodges, Intellectual Foundations of the Nicaraguan Revolution (1986).

Additional Bibliography

Gobat, Michel. Confronting the American Dream: Nicaragua under U.S. Imperial Rule. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.

Selser, Gregorio. La restauración conservadora y la gesta de Benjamín Zeledón: Nicaragua-USA, 1909–1916. Managua, Nicaragua: Aldilà Editor, 2001.

                                        Shannon Bellamy