Presidents of Bolivia
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Gregorio Pacheco Leyes (1823 1899) was the constitutional President of Bolivia from 1884 to 1888. A native of Potosi, 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 a wealthy man and the country's foremost philanthropist. 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, often by voting fraud, until 1899.
Pacheco faced many Liberal rebellions and coups, and in consequence governed with a repressive iron fist. He counted with extensive military support. 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 Potosi, where he died in 1899.
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