Francisco Solano López


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López, Francisco Solano

 

Born July 24, 1826, in Asunción; died Mar. 1, 1870, in Cêrro Corá. Paraguayan statesman and diplomat.

López headed the first Paraguayan embassy to Europe (1853-54) and later defended his country’s economic and political sovereignty in negotiations with foreign states. While serving as minister of war (1855), he carried out a reorganization of the army; he initiated the construction of an arsenal, a foundry, and a railroad. Lopez was president from 1862 to 1870 and encouraged the development of the national economy and culture. Between 1864 and 1870, during Paraguay’s war with the reactionary coalition of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, he showed himself to be a talented organizer and military leader. He died in battle.