Manuel Isidoro Belzú

Belzú, Manuel Isidoro


Born Apr. 4, 1808, in La Paz; died there March 1865. Bolivian military and political leader.

At the age of 13, Belzú voluntarily joined the troops struggling against Spain during the war for independence of the Spanish colonies in America. In 1848 he came to power as the result of a military revolt. From 1850 to 1855 he was president of Bolivia. He drew up a constitution which abolished slavery (passed in September 1850), opposed the supremacy of the feudal aristocracy, and enjoyed wide popular support. The forces of reaction organized a number of conspiracies and rebellions against Belzú. In 1864 he headed an uprising against the dictator Melgarejo; Belzú died in a street battle.