Mariano Enrique Calvo Cuéllar (18 July 1782 – 29 July 1842) was a Bolivian lawyer, general and politician who served as the de facto eighth president of Bolivia briefly in 1841. He also served as the third vice president from 1835 to 1839 during which he also held the powers of acting president while President Andrés de Santa Cruz was in Peru. He would also be given the rank of general and commander of the Bolivian Army by Santa Cruz.[1]

Mariano Enrique Calvo
Official portrait, Casa de la Libertad, Sucre
8th President of Bolivia
In office
9 July 1841 – 22 September 1841
Preceded bySebastián Ágreda (provisional)
Succeeded byJosé Ballivián (provisional)
3rd Vice President of Bolivia
In office
23 July 1835 – 22 February 1839
PresidentAndrés de Santa Cruz
Preceded byJosé Miguel de Velasco
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Aniceto Arce (1880)
Belisario Salinas (1880)
Minister of Interior and Foreign Affairs
In office
25 January 1833 – 16 August 1835
PresidentAndrés de Santa Cruz
Preceded byCasimiro Olañeta
Succeeded byJosé Ignacio Sanjinés
In office
3 July 1829 – 24 January 1832
PresidentAndrés de Santa Cruz
Preceded byJosé María de Lara (acting)
Succeeded byCasimiro Olañeta
Personal details
Mariano Enrique Calvo Cuéllar

(1782-07-18)18 July 1782
Chuquisaca, Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (now Bolivia)
Died29 July 1842(1842-07-29) (aged 60)
Cochabamba, Bolivia
SpouseManuela Dominga Salinas
Parent(s)Juan de Dios Calvo Antequera
Rosa Cuellar
EducationUniversity of Saint Francis Xavier
Military service

Early life edit

Scion of a family member of the nobility of Chuquisaca, he came from a long line of hearers of the Real Audiencia de Charcas. Carlos III had declared his father, Juan de Dios Calvo de la Banda y Antequera, a "straight, loyal and faithful minister" of the Crown.[2] He studied law at the Universidad Mayor, Real y Pontificia de San Francisco Xavier Chuquisaca, where he graduated as a lawyer.

The Creation of the Republic edit

Bolivian independence edit

During the War of Independence, he was initially on the royalist side, later joining the ranks of the patriots. In 1818, under the royalist government, he was elected alderman of the Cabildo de La Plata, a designation that was observed by the president of the Royal Court of Charcas, José Pascual de Vivero y Salaverría, because he had held the same position in the revolutionary councils of 1813 and 1815. Once the Republic was established, he stood out as a collaborator of Andrés de Santa Cruz y Calahumana.

Services to the Bolivian Nation and State edit

He served "brilliantly" as a minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of Bolivia. He was Minister of the Interior during the Government of the Marshal of Ayacucho Antonio José de Sucre, and Minister of Foreign Affairs during the Government of Marshal of Zepita Andrés de Santa Cruz. He was vice president of the Republic, then president of the Bolivian State during the time of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation between 1836 and 1839. "Lawyer of great reputation" and of "peaceful character and incapable of inspiring suspicion",[3] he was the vice president[4] and held the interim presidency of the country for a longer time (almost two and a half years), replacing the president, when Santa Cruz was in Peruvian territory in the process of forming the protectorate of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation. He presided over the Tapacarí Congress in 1836, which approved the "Restoration" government on June 11 of that year.

Awards edit

On June 21, 1836, he was appointed Division General of the Armies of the Republic and Chief of the Bolivian National Guards and decorated with the title of Keeper of the Peace, which he could use in his dictations, he was also decorated with a gold medal trimmed with diamonds, which had on its obverse the emblem of the Republic with the following inscription in the circle: "The Congress of the Bolivian Republic". On the reverse, an outstretched arm, holding in the hand the tree of liberty surrounded by olive branches, with the following inscription in the circle: "To the Conservator of Peace Mariano Enrique Clavo".[5]

The codification of law under Santa Cruz edit

The Santa Cruz Penal Code of the South-Peruvian State, promulgated on June 22, 1836, and the Santa Cruz Penal Code of the North-Peruvian State, promulgated on November 15, 1836, although they reproduced the systematics of the Bolivian Penal Code of 1831, incorporated the modifications formulated by Calvo de la Banda in 1834, which exhibited a "marked illustrated tonic".[6]

Considered by his contemporaries, due to the purity of his style, as one of the best prose writers in Bolivia,[7] Calvo de la Banda had referred to the Castilian-Indian legislation that governed before the Santa Cruz codes, when defending the need for this codification — quoted by the Chilean historian Alejandro Guzmán Brito[8]—in these terms:

It is worth remembering the farrago that there is of them, the multiplicity of their codes, the struggle with each other, the repetition of the same provisions, the antilogy that some laws offer in their own wording and even how heavy it is and its unusual language.

Presidency edit

With Sebastián Ágreda's resignation in 1841, Congress was reassembled. The latter desperately wanted to return to established Constitutional norms, and thus agreed to temporarily turn the reins of state to Calvo, as the last Vice-President of Bolivia under Santa Cruz, pending the latter's return. Calvo is thus considered to be the first civilian President of Bolivia. He had difficulty, however, in running the country, with the military divided among pro-Velasco and pro-Santa Cruz camps. In fact, civil war loomed, with part of the country under different military controls, and with a pending Peruvian invasion known to be on its way at the worst of times.

The latter finally materialized (no doubt spurred by the unmistakable appearance of chaos and weakness at the helm in La Paz) in late August 1841. Trusting the fate of the whole country to its military, Calvo could only hope for a miracle. The latter indeed occurred, when General José Ballivián, head of the Bolivian Army, inflicted an astonishing defeat on the invading forces of Peru at the Battle of Ingavi, where the Peruvian President himself, the notorious Agustin Gamarra, was made prisoner and later executed by Ballivián. With the latter the indisputable hero of the moment, Calvo could only acquiesce when Congress named the General Provisional President, once again pending a possible return of Marshall Santa Cruz. Calvo would die only a year later in Cochabamba. He was the first native of the Bolivian capital, La Plata/Chuquisaca (later renamed Sucre) to occupy the Bolivian presidency, and also has the distinction of having been President at the time of the rout of Peruvian forces at Ingavi.

References edit

  1. ^ "Bolivia: Ley de 21 de junio de 1836".
  2. ^ Querejazu Calvo, Roberto (1987). Chuquisaca 1539-1825 (in Spanish). p. 294.
  3. ^ Cortés, Manuel José (1861). Ensayo sobre la historia de Bolivia (in Spanish). Harvard University. Sucre : Imprenta de Beeche. p. 150.
  4. ^ "Bolivia: Ley de 23 de julio de 1835". Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Bolivia: Ley de 21 de junio de 1836". Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  6. ^ Ramos Núñez, Carlos (2005). Historia del derecho civil peruano: Siglos XIX y XX, II La codificación del siglo XIX: Los códigos de la Confederación y el Código Civil de 1852 (in Spanish). pp. 79–80.
  7. ^ Wright, Marie Robinson (1907). Bolivia, the central highway of South America, a land of rich resources and varied interest. Getty Research Institute. Philadelphia, G. Barrie & sons; [etc., etc.] p. 169.
  8. ^ La crítica póstuma al Derecho Indiano. XII Congreso del Instituto Internacional de Historia del Derechio Indiano. Toledo: La Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha edición. 1998.