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José de la Riva Agüero
5th President of Peru

In office
February 28, 1823 – June 23, 1823
Preceded by José Bernardo de Tagle, Marquess of Torre-Tagle
Succeeded by Antonio José de Sucre
Personal details
Born May 3, 1783
Lima, Peru
Died May 21, 1858(1858-05-21) (aged 75)
Lima, Peru
Nationality Peruvian

José Mariano de la Riva Agüero y Sánchez Boquete Marquess De Montealegre de Aulestia (1783, Lima, Peru – 1858, Lima) was a Peruvian soldier, politician, historian and twice President of Peru.

Riva Agüero was son of José De la Riva Aguero y Basso della Rovere, a Spanish aristocrat of Italian origin, member of the Della Rovere family, and the criolla María Josefa Sánchez Boquete Román de Aulestia Marquess De Montealegre de Aulestia, was married with the Belgian princess Caroline Arnoldine Looz Corswarem, spent his childhood and youth in Spain, where was educated and later participated in the wars against the Napoleonic invasion. In 1809 he returned to Lima and participated in the independence cause. José de San Martín named him prefect of Lima in 1822. Upon the departure of San Martín and the ensuing social instability in the country, Andrés de Santa Cruz revolted against the Peruvian Congress on February 26, 1823 and forced it to elect Riva Agüero as President. Riva Agüero proclaimed himself "President of Peru", the first to use such title.

During his short government, he suffered the entry of Spanish troops into the capital and the departure of the government towards a new installation at the port of Callao. Under this situation, Riva Agüero lost all support of the Peruvian Congress, which awaited anxiously the arrival of Simón Bolivar. He was later deposed by Antonio José de Sucre. Sucre was succeeded by José Bernardo de Torre Tagle until the arrival of Simón Bolívar. Congress had been waiting for the Venezuelan "Liberator" to come to Peru and help to consolidate the Independence of the country, and was more than willing to grant him all necessary powers.

Fearing the loss of leadership, Riva Agüero sought to conciliate with the Viceroy to prevent the arrival of Bolívar, only to be arrested and accused of high treason. He was subsequently exiled to Chile. There he wrote the Memorias y documentos para la Historia de la Independencia del Perú y causas del mal éxito que ha tenido ésta (Memories and documents for the history of the independence of Peru and causes for its failure so far), one of the most important sources for the period.

During the short-lived Peru-Bolivian Confederation Riva Agüero supported Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz, and became president of the Republic of North Peru in 1838. After its collapse, he retired from public life until his death in 1858.

He had five children with Caroline Arnoldine Looz Corswarem. His eldest son was José de la Riva-Agüero y Looz Corswaren.

See also

  • History of Peru
  • Politics of Peru
  • List of Presidents of Peru
  • Peru-Bolivian Confederation


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Preceded by
José Bernardo de Tagle
President of Peru
Succeeded by
Antonio José de Sucre
Preceded by
Luis José de Orbegoso
President of North Peru
1838 – 1839
Succeeded by
Republic dissolved

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