Rafael Carrera – Biography of Rafael Carrera

Rafael Carrera placeholder imageBorn on October 24, 1814 in Guatemala City, he was dictator of Guatemala (1844–48 and 1851–65) and one of the most powerful figures in Central America in the 19th century.

Race, a mestizo of mixed European and Indian descent, had no formal education. He fought in the civil war in Central America in the 1820s and rose rapidly through the ranks. As a soldier, he adopted strong conservative beliefs. With the support of the Indian peasantry, who revered him, and the lower clergy, who despised the anti-clerical liberal government, he captured Guatemala City in 1838 and seized power, which he exercised fully and ruthlessly until his death.

RaceA deeply religious man, a solid nationalist and a committed conservative, he consolidated his government in 1840 when he became a dictator and removed Guatemala from the United Provinces of Central America, proclaiming it an independent republic. Remembering the Jesuits, he reestablished the Roman Catholic Church in 1852. In 1854, he abolished elections and became president for life.

During the government of Race, the Nicaraguan adventurers led by William Walker were repulsed, two attempts by Mexico to annex Guatemala were frustrated, and the territorial expansion of British Honduras was limited. Race he frequently meddled in the affairs of neighboring nations on behalf of his conservative forces.

Even if Race It was crude and brutal, the clergy and upper classes appreciated his regime for its stability, respect for property, and support for the church. Under his rule, the country made some economic progress by becoming a major coffee exporter. Guatemala also achieved a measure of ethnic equality under the leadership of Race, which included the appointment of indigenous and mestizos in political and military positions.