Guardia, Tomás

Guardia, Tomás

Guardia, Tomás (tōmäsˈ gwärˈdēä), 1832–82, president of Costa Rica. An army general, he led a revolt that eventually placed him in control and enabled him to rule the country from 1870 to 1882 with only brief interruptions. Under a repressive military dictatorship he exiled the leading families and halted the destructive Liberal-Conservative rivalry that had torn Costa Rica for nearly 50 years. Guardia undertook the building of a costly ocean-to-ocean railroad, financed and directed by the United Fruit magnate Minor Cooper Keith. Although basically a military strong man, Guardia is generally credited with having laid the groundwork of Costa Rican political stability.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.