Gregorio Pacheco

Gregorio Pacheco Leyes (4 July 1823 – 20 August 1899) was a Bolivian businessman and entrepreneur who served as the 21st President of Bolivia from 1884 to 1888. A native of Livi Livi, Province of Potosí, Pacheco won a disputed election that was a virtual three-way tie between him, Conservative leader Aniceto Arce, and Liberal chief Eliodoro Camacho. Pacheco was self-made a wealthy man (he was born poor) and the country's foremost philanthropist. He made his money purchasing shares in defunct silver mines which he rehabilitated. By the mid 19th century Pacheco emerged as a wealthy, efficient, progressive, and pragmatic silver tycoon. Bolivia's state of instability, fraught with coups and international conflicts concerned him greatly.

Gregorio Pacheco
Gregorio Pacheco (Valdez Hermanos, c.1884; cropped).jpg
21st President of Bolivia
In office
4 September 1884 – 15 August 1888
Vice PresidentMariano Baptista
Jorge Oblitas
Preceded byNarciso Campero
Succeeded byAniceto Arce
Personal details
Gregorio Pacheco Leyes

(1823-07-04)4 July 1823
Livi Livi, United Provinces of the Río de la Plata (now Bolivia)
Died20 August 1899(1899-08-20) (aged 76)
Potosí, Bolivia
Political partyDemocratic Party
Conservative Party
Spouse(s)Corina Aparicio
Parent(s)Brígido Jose Pacheco
Josefa Leyes
RelativesNarciso Campero (cousin)
EducationUniversity of Saint Francis Xavier

Early lifeEdit

Gregorio Pacheco Leyes was born to José Brígido Pacheco and Josefa Leyes Madariaga in 1823. Pacheco's family was a powerful one. They were oligarchs who controlled much of the country's mining oligarchy.[1] Pacheco got into the mining business very early on. A shrewd individual, he accumulated a vast fortune from his business.

Pacheco then went to Europe with his cousin Narciso Campero. The experience widened his cultural horizons. By the 1860s Pacheco already owned several silver mines. Pacheco was as generous and compassionate as he was shrewd. In Sucre, where he had come to settle, he donated money to the town's hospital.

Political careerEdit

In 1880, Pacheco founded the Democratic Party.[1] Although conservative by temperament, he was originally not a member of Arce's party, and ran against him, as well as against the Liberals, on the basis of his personal resources and fame as an efficient administrator. Arce, in fact, initially resented Pacheco's intrusion in politics, understanding that no one in the country could match his personal fortune, which would no doubt make him hard to beat. Soon the two made a deal, however, with Pacheco elevating Arce to the vice-presidency with the understanding that he (Pacheco) would support Arce in the 1888 elections. This pact united all Conservative factions and led to the cementing of a Conservative control of power, until 1899.

Pacheco faced many Liberal rebellions and coups. He relied on extensive military support and treated his soldiers well. Fearing reprisals against his family he sent them to Europe during his tenure. He implored his children to learn English which he viewed as the international language of business. As had been agreed upon, he supported Arce in the 1888 elections, which the latter, not surprisingly, won. At that point Gregorio Pacheco retired to his estate in Nucchu (Chuquisaca). He died in 1899.


  1. ^ a b "Gregorio Pacheco". Biographies & Lives. Retrieved 31 January 2013.