Justo Rufino Barrios
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Barrios, Justo Rufino
Born 1835 in San Lorenzo; died Apr. 2,1885, in Chalchuapa. Guatemalan statesman and political figure.
In the years 1871–73, Barrios was commander in chief of the army and from 1873 to 1885, president. Although he established a dictatorial regime and proceeded to suppress all opposition, Barrios nevertheless promoted the economic development of the country. He also significantly weakened the influence of the church and placed it under government control. Barrios tried to unify the Central American countries in a confederation. However, these plans met with opposition and led to a war with El Salvador. In the very first battle Barrios was defeated and killed.