On This Day

Francisco Solano López

President of Paraguay Francisco Solano López

Profession: President of Paraguay


Biography: López was the President of Paraguay from 1862 and 1870. A controversial figure in South America, particularly for his role in the Paraguayan War, which ended with the total defeat of his country and his own death in battle. Others maintain he was a fierce defender of Latin American interests against outsiders.

The war began in 1864 after a conflict between the Empire of Brazil and Paraguay caused by the earlier Uruguayan War. Paraguay had been involved in various disputes with its neighbors for years, and when Brazil intervened in Uruguay to depose the leader of a political party allied to Paraguay, López intervened and went to war with Brazil. Argentina and Uruguay joined Brazil, forming a Triple Alliance.

The war lasted until 1870, and was the deadliest conflict in Latin American history. The war was devastating to Paraguay, which suffered enormous losses in population (possibly 850,000) and territory.

López conducted a guerrilla war after he lost in conventional war on the battlefield, and the conflict ended when he was killed in battle by Brazilian forces in battle on March 1, 1870.

Born: July 24, 1826
Birthplace: Asunción, Paraguay
Star Sign: Leo

Died: March 1, 1870 (aged 43)
Cause of Death: Refusing surrender and shouting "¡Muero con mi patria!" (I die with my nation), López attacked Brazilian General Câmara with his sword and died during a struggle with soldiers who tried to disarm him.

Articles and Photos

Historical Events

  • 1864-10-12 War of the Triple Alliance begins with Brazilian troops under the command of Gen. João Propício Mena Barreto invading Uruguay
  • 1864-12-13 War of the Triple Alliance: Paraguay officially declares war on Brazil, invades the next day
  • 1864-12-14 War of the Triple Alliance: Paraguay invades the Brazilian province of Mato Grosso
  • 1866-03-01 War of the Triple Alliance: Paraguayan canoes sink 2 Brazilian ironclads on the Rio Paraná
  • 1866-09-22 War of the Triple Alliance: Decisive battle of Curupayty results in a Paraguayan victory and heavy losses for Argentinian and Brazilian forces
  • 1868-11-11 War of the Triple Alliance: Allied victory in the Battle of Avay leaves 3,000 Paraguayan soldiers dead, 600 wounded and the road to Asunción open
  • 1869-01-01 War of the Triple Alliance: Paraguay's capital Asunción falls to Brazilian forces led by General João de Souza da Fonseca Costa
  • 1869-08-16 War of the Triple Alliance: A Paraguay battalion made up of children is massacred by the Brazilian Army during the Battle of Acosta Ñu
  • 1870-03-01 War of the Triple Alliance finally ends with the Battle of Cerro Corá and the death of Paraguayan Dictator Francisco Solano López after over 5 years of bloodshed between Paraguay and Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay

Famous Paraguayans