Oscar R. Benavides
Oscar Raymundo Benavides Larrea , prominent military man with the rank of Field Marshal and politician, was the President of Peru from 1914 to 1915 and from 1933 to 1939.
He was born in Lima on March 15, 1876. The son of Miguel Benavides y Gallegos, Sargeant Major of the National Guard, and Erfilia Larrea, Peruvian socialite. After attending the Guadalupe High School (Colegio de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe) in Lima, Benavides entered the Military School of Lima (la Escuela Militar) and in 1894, the Dos de Mayo Artillery Brigade. In 1901, he was promoted to Captain; and in 1906, at age 30, he graduated with top grades as Sergeant Major at the Military Academy in Lima, directed by the French Military Mission. The Government sent Benavides to France to complete his military training , after which the French Republic distinguished him with the Cross of the Legion of Honor.
Upon returning to Peru in December 1910, Benavides was designated commanding officer of Infantry Battalion N 9, garrisoned in Chiclayo, on the Northern Pacific Coast of Peru. In February 1911, the Peruvian Government ordered Benavides to lead Battalion N 9 to the Northeastern border with Colombia in Peruvian Amazonia. Colombia had established a fortified post at La Pedrera on the southern bank of the Caqueta River, which, according to the Porras-Tanco Argaez Treaty of 1909, was within Peruvian territory.
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