Eloy Alfaro


In the history of democracy in Ecuador , there have been a large number of very important characters who managed to carry out an important position within the intense struggle that took place to achieve independence and freedom in the country. One of them was undoubtedly Eloy Alfaro , a renowned Ecuadorian military and politician who, thanks to his leadership capacity, intervened in the current of radical liberalism .


Personal information

  • When was he born: 06/25/1842
  • Where he was born: Montecristi, Ecuador
  • When he died: 01/28/1912
  • Where he died: Quito, Ecuador

Who was Eloy Alfaro?

Eloy Alfaro was an important and recognized politician of Ecuadorian nationality who was one of the main representatives of freedom and democracy in Ecuador , considered for that reason as one of the most important national leaders .

  • What did
  • Biography of Eloy Alfaro
  • Death
  • Military career
  • Political career
  • Government of Eloy Alfaro
  • What study
  • Ideology
  • Contributions of Eloy Alfaro
  • Physical characteristics
  • Personality
  • Parents
  • Relations
  • Sons
  • Importance
  • Works by Eloy Alfaro
  • Acknowledgments
  • Phrases
  • Curiosities

What did

Eloy Alfaro was an important military man who managed to occupy the presidential chair of his country who always fought to achieve the freedom of Ecuador and who, thanks to his great leadership power, managed to establish the current known as anticlerical liberalism , a political movement that more It was later renamed as Ecuadorian Radical Liberalism . Through this thought, he was able, in 1864 , to participate in an important pronouncement against President Gabriel García Moreno .

Biography of Eloy Alfaro

Eloy Alfaro was born on June 25, 1842 in a city in Ecuador known as Montecristi . Her primary education led her to her hometown and after she finished her studies, she dedicated her youth to helping her father. During his youth he was in charge of studying and analyzing the different libertarian doctrines that existed around him and, at the moment in which he realized that García Moreno was looking for a way to place Ecuador under the nations of Europe , he decided to join the movement liberalto start the armed struggle. Due to his thoughts and ways of acting he was named as undesirable, he was living in exile for several years


His death took place on January 28 of the year 1912 in the city of Quito. That day, several crimes were committed in the place that managed to end the lives of Eloy Alfaro Delgado, his brother, a nephew, a journalist and some soldiers. He was shot in the forehead and then thrown into the street from a window. The people took his body and then moved it along the different avenues of the place and then set it on fire in the main square.

Military career

At just 22 years old, he had already joined the war against García Moreno, however, due to the conspiracy that had been stopped, he had to move to live outside of Ecuador. For a long time he was persecuted, however, he managed to go into exile in Panama , a department of Colombia , where he met Juan Montalvo. After García Moreno passed away, he decided to return to his country and join Veintemilla , he distinguished himself in the battle of Galte and Molinos consolidated himself as a general .

Eloy Alfaro participated in several battles such as the Restoration campaign where he was appointed supreme chief of Manabí, in the battle of July 9, 1883 . He fought against Caamano leading the montoneros and in the naval combat against the president’s flotilla.

Political career

When he turned 22 years old, Eloy Alfaro decided to join the ranks to fight against García Moreno , however, he failed in his attempt so he had to seek refuge in Panama where he met Juan Montalvo who gave him protection and helped with the financing of several trials . In 1875 he returned to Ecuador to try to abolish the eighth political charter or black card as it was also known.

Government of Eloy Alfaro

During his first government, which was from January 17, 1897 to August 31, 1901 , during this period he managed to give his country great educational and economic contributions . He abolished the death penalty, improved the treatment of women , created a railroad among some of his main actions. His second administration took place between 16 January 1906 and November of August of 1911 when the military coup took place Eloy Alfaro against Lizargo García. It was also a second government where secularism was consolidated , the first railway managed to reach Quito and the nation was united with respect to the war problem in Peru.

What study

His first studies were carried out in his place of origin and later he dedicated himself to working with his father.


The ideology of Eloy Alfaro, better known by the nickname of ” old fighter ” was characterized by being totally inclined to liberalism , to the freedom that both men and women should enjoy. The principles were of great importance to him as well as education and the fulfillment of rights.

Contributions of Eloy Alfaro

Among his main contributions are the following:

  • He did a large number of social , educational and economic-related works.
  • He was in charge of establishing secularism .
  • It abolished the death penalty .
  • He made it possible for religion to be taught conscientiously and freely.
  • He helped the woman to overcome herself.
  • He created the Civil Registry.
  • He exonerated the indigenous people so that they did not have to pay the property tax.
  • With him, education became free , secular and the State was the one who had full control of education.
  • Freedom of expression was improved .
  • He opened the first school dedicated to teaching and preparing primary school teachers.
  • The Civil Registry was founded .

Physical characteristics

Regarding his physical characteristics, it is said that he was a man of short stature , thin , with white skin . His features were quite strong , he had a beard and mustache which were covered in gray, his eyes were black and his nose was large but aligned.


He had an extremely patriotic type of personality , he always had a lot of interest in his country and at the same time he had great humanistic tendencies . He also possessed a visionary type personality , loyal to all his ideals and principles , which made him an innate and authentic leader .


His father, Manuel Alfaro y González , was an important merchant of Spanish origin who had arrived in Ecuador in an exile condition. His mother, María de la Natividad Delgado López .


In 1872 he married Ana Paredes Arosemena .


Together with his wife he had a total of nine children whom they named as Esmeralda , Bolívar , Colombia , Bolívar II, Ana María , Colón , Olmedo , América and Colón Eloy . She had a son from an extramarital affair whom she named Rafael .


Eloy Alfaro was a very important man because thanks to him they were able to found the first lay public schools that existed in the country and with this, he managed to completely eliminate the monopoly that the Catholic Church continued to exercise in the field of education. In addition, the students who were part of the Catholic schools were forced to take an exam where they managed to validate their knowledge before the lay teachers who were part of the State. He was a man who was also in charge of promoting freedom of worship , allowed several Protestant missions to enter the country and secularized the company by opening more to the world.

Works by Eloy Alfaro

Among his main works are the following:

  • Construction of the Mejía National School in Quito
  • Construction of the School of Fine Arts
  • Eloy Alfaro College for Military
  • Juan Montalvo Normal School
  • Normal schools for indigenous people
  • Better organized the Ecuadorian army
  • Right to vote for women .
  • He separated the church from the state.
  • He incorporated women to the vote.


In his honor, the highest distinction known as General Eloy Alfaro Delgado Decoration was established, which was established in his memory and for having been the head of the Liberal Revolution. Many streets and avenues in Ecuador bear his name and over the years, what are believed to be his ashes were moved to the military complex called Ciudad Alfaro in his native land. In the García Moreno prison cell where he was murdered, a person was never placed inside again and a bust was built in his honor.

Every June 5, public schools honor him and in the town of Guayaquil there is a monument of impressive size. In Concepción , Colombia and at the base of the statue of José María Córdoba , a plaque was placed as a sign of gratitude to Eloy Alfaro for being a symbol of national unity.


Some of the main phrases of Eloy Alfaro were the following:

  • We cannot lose with little pieces of paper what we have achieved with weapons.
  • Plaza is a disloyal soldier and has no political ideas.
  • The darkest hour is the one closest to dawn.
  • The falsehood, injury, slander in its most disgusting and immortal phases, have been the favorite weapons of our adversaries.
  • Freedom is not implored on your knees.


For many years fighting against conservatism he was known by the nickname of old fighter. He affirmed that in order to achieve freedom, one could not beg on their knees but, on the contrary, war should be used to achieve it. On September 18, 1895, he sent an escort to capture Dr. Camilo Ponce Ortiz and to bring him before his presence. In reality, Alfaro never won an electoral election but rather always held the presidential seat after a coup .

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