Francisco de la Lastra
General Francisco de la Lastra y de la Sotta was a Chilean military officer and the first Supreme Director of Chile (1814).
He was born in Santiago de Chile, the son of Antonio de la Lastra Cortes and of Maria de la Sotta y Aguila. As a young man, he was sent to Spain to pursue his studies, and served in the Royal Spanish Navy, was promoted to navy lieutenant in 1803, and remained till 1807. He returned to Chile in 1811. From the very beginning was a part of the independence movement that swept Chile from 1810 onwards. Once back he held different military assignments, enlisted in the revolutionary army, and was appointed political and military governor of Valparaiso. He organized in that port the militia and naval reserve, and also established arsenals for its defence.
In 1811, he was a substitute Deputy (representing Concepcion) to the first National Congress, that met between July 4 and December 2 of that year. On October 26, 1812, he was also one of the signataries of the Constitutional Regulation of 1812. He was named governor of Valparaiso and also was the first commander of the just created Chilean navy between 1812 and 1814. Since he had relations with the Carrera family de la Lastra assumed power after the first (second for some) dictatorship of Jose Miguel Carrera, while he was going to fight against the Spanish troops commanded by Antonio Pareja and later by Gabino Gainza.
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