Periodo final de los colorados-chovy: Retorno del caballerismo al poder en el nuevo siglo

Periodo final de los colorados-chovy: Retorno del caballerismo al poder en el nuevo siglo

Terminado sin sobresaltos el periodo presidencial del Gral. Juan B. Egusquiza, el 25 de noviembre de 1898 asume como Presidente de la República el señor Emilio Aceval, quien sería el último presidente del siglo XIX.

Aceval, era miembro nato del grupo gubernista “colorado chovy”- “liberal pytaí”. Acaudalado hombre de negocios-recordemos que fue el presidente de aquel Banco del Paraguay- y había sido entrenado en la administración de las cuestiones de estado, integrando el gabinete del general Juan Bautista Egusquiza su predecesor y mentor.

Fue uno de los niños héroes sobrevivientes de la batalla de Acosta Ñú. Realizó sus estudios bajo la dirección del padre Fidel Maíz, pero al estallido de la Guerra contra la Triple Alianza se incorporó al Ejército, a los 13 años. Fue herido en Pirayú y luego en Acosta Ñú, donde actuó con el grado de sargento mayor. Días después, cayó prisionero en la batalla de Caraguatay (Su atuendo de soldado se exhibe en el Museo de Historia Militar).

Eran años de bonanza económica y nada mejor que un próspero comerciante- banquero, ganadero- para ocupar la silla presidencial. Lo acompañaba en la fórmula, un destacado miembro fundador del Partido Nacional Republicano, el señor Héctor Carvallo, quien luego del golpe de estado de mil novecientos dos contra el presidente Aceval, completaría el mandato del mismo. A pesar de su heroico pasado militar siendo apenas un niño, de grande adoptaría un pensamiento liberal y no conservador como estilaban los colorados ex combatientes, al menos los Caballeristas.

Benjamin Aceval (Imagen: Wikipedia)

A propósito, el señor Aceval no estaba “afiliado” al partido republicano, en el que figuraba nada más que simbólicamente. Los “liberales pytaí” y los “colorados chovy” eran los dueños de la situación y el gabinete de don Emilio era el fiel reflejo de lo que estamos afirmando.

Su socio comercial, don Guillermo de los Ríos era su ministro del Interior; y, don Francisco Campos ingresa al gabinete al despuntar el nuevo siglo- en mil novecientos- en la cartera de Hacienda. El trío de los grandes empresarios no solo eran los “dueños del país”, sino también administradores del estado paraguayo.

El Caballerismo, cada vez más devaluado existe solo a través del Coronel Juan Antonio Escurra, quien ocupa el Ministerio de Guerra y Marina. El gabinete de Aceval, tercer presidente de ascendencia vasca, se completaba con José P. Urdapilleta en Hacienda y en la Cancillería, el eterno comodín del republicanismo liberal José Segundo Decoud,  principal doctrinario del Partido Nacional Republicano quien siempre amagaba con las candidaturas presidenciales sin poder concretarlas, frustración que lo llevaría paulatinamente a un triste final en 1909.

Como reflejo del envío de oficiales a recibir instrucción en la Argentina y Chile, se reorganiza el ejército y se abre “La Guardia Nacional”. En ella se inscriben de inmediato una camada de jóvenes de sonado rango social, que en breve serían los actores del cambio violento de la situación política del país.

La superestructura del estado liberal se estaba completando y consolidando. El viejo “batallón guarará” se convertía en ejército organizado y dentro del mismo operarían los recambios necesarios. Los viejos generales estaban ya en franco desgaste; los nuevos tiempos requerían no solo una nueva organización, sino nuevos actores; los nombramientos en cargos importantes de la administración ya no requerían de su escrutinio y padrinazgo. Escobar había declinado ya en la elección de su sucesor, el ex presidente Juan Gualberto González. La estrella ascendente del general Egusquiza hacía de este referente obligado en el juego de influencias en contrapunto con el viejo general Caballero, quien se resistía a todo trance a “pasar a retiro”. Este estado de cosas, se vería luego reflejado a la hora de elegir al sucesor del presidente Aceval.

Emilio Aceval antes de convertirse en Presidente de la República del Paraguay. Albúmina (1887), 22 x 16, Manuel San Martín. Colección Javier Yubi: «MODA Y SOCIEDAD DE LA POSTGUERRA» / Portal Guaraní

Obras importantes. Durante el gobierno del presidente Aceval, el Paraguay participó de la Exposición Universal de París, se crearon el Consejo Nacional de Educación, la Dirección General de Escuelas y el Consejo Nacional de Higiene. También se creó la oficina recaudadora de Impuestos Internos; se declaró una epidemia de peste bubónica, que llevó a la creación de la Oficina Bacteriológica; se instalaron colonias de inmigrantes, especialmente italianos. El Paraguay participó de la exposición internacional de Filadelfia; el telégrafo llegó a San Estanislao, al norte, y al sur de Encarnación.

Además, se sancionó la Ley de Colonización y Hogar; se establecieron en el Paraguay gran cantidad de inmigrantes italianos. Lamentablemente, también durante su gobierno, el país sufrió los estragos de una epidemia de fiebre bubónica. A partir del 1 de enero de 1901, entró en vigencia el sistema métrico decimal, suplantándose de esta forma las antiguas unidades de medidas, como la pulgada, la vara, la onza, la arroba, la yarda, la milla, la libra y otras unidades implantadas por la administración española en América. Se puso en marcha la “Revista Histórica Quincenal”, bajo la dirección de Manuel Domínguez, se fijó una cátedra de Sociología a cargo del Dr. Báez. También, se le nombró al Dr. Cecilio Báez, en 1901, Ministro Plenipotenciario en México, y delegado de la 2.ª. Conferencia Panamericana. Para orgullo nacional, su ponencia fue aprobada y a su regreso se le dio una gloriosa bienvenida.

Llegaba el tiempo de barajar candidaturas para el siguiente período. El presidente Aceval propone a su socio Guillermo de los Ríos para el cargo de primer mandatario, como muestra fehaciente del poder que habían acumulado los plutócratas dentro y fuera del estado. El Caballerismo reaccionó inmediatamente a través del ministro de guerra y marina Juan Antonio Escurra y el 9 de enero de 1902, en plena sesión del Congreso Nacional reunido con motivo del tratamiento de la «renuncia» del presidente Emilio Aceval y nombrar el sucesor, cae mortalmente herido por un disparo de arma de fuego el doctor Facundo Dolores Ynsfrán, «delfín» del general Caballero- también herido en la oportunidad- para el siguiente periodo constitucional, quien con una herida en el brazo siguió dirigiendo la sesión parlamentaria. El poder para el caballerismo y hasta para el Partido Nacional Republicano mismo, ya no podía esperar.

La piedra del escándalo había sido la candidatura de De los Ríos. El “trío” no reconocía límites en su afán de riqueza y poder. Pareciera que el itinerario era Aceval- De los Ríos- Campos.

Señor Don Emilio Aceval, President of Paraguay. Fuente Imagen: https://digital.library.sydney.edu.au/nodes/view/6864

Los siguientes once meses del mandato constitucional los completó el vicepresidente señor Héctor Carvallo, quien conformó su gabinete con figuras del Caballerismo y algunos de la “nueva hornada” como el doctor Manuel Domínguez y el señor Fulgencio R. Moreno.

En retribución de atenciones recibidas, el coronel Juan Antonio Escurra es “electo” candidato a la presidencia de la nación para el periodo constitucional 1902-1906. Le acompañaba en la fórmula, como candidato a vicepresidente de la república, el “abogado de la patria” doctor Manuel Domínguez, brillante hombre de letras, pero en extremo errático y acomodaticio en su accionar político.

El 25 de Noviembre de 1902, el flamante presidente Escurra recibía los atributos del mando y se aprestaba a iniciar su período constitucional.  Era el símbolo de la agonía del Caballerismo y del partido republicano en el poder formal de la república, del que sería desalojado violentamente por la revolución armada liberal de 1904.

El poder real, hacía rato se había escapado de los republicanos. La banca, la industria y el comercio, como quien dice, estaban casi totalmente en manos de sus adversarios.

Está historia continuará……..

Señor Don Emilio Aceval, President of Paraguay. Detalle. Fuente Imagen: https://digital.library.sydney.edu.au/nodes/view/6864

Fuentes:

  • Del 14 y 15 al 2 y 3 Una Interpretación de la historia política del Paraguay de Eduardo j. Giménez Rabito.
  • Progresismo republicano y las Ideas liberales de Julio César Frutos.
  • La República del Paraguay Un siglo de vida nacional 1811-1911, de Arsenio López Decoud.

:

Diego Giménez

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