Tomás Gutiérrez

Last updated
Tomás Francisco Gutiérrez Chávez
Supreme Leader of the Republic of Peru
In office
July 22, 1872 July 26, 1872
Preceded by José Balta
Succeeded by Francisco Diez Canseco
Personal details
BornMarch 7, 1817
Arequipa, Viceroyalty of Peru
DiedJuly 26, 1872 (aged 55)
Lima, Peru
Political partyMilitary

Tomás Francisco Gutiérrez Chávez was a Peruvian military man who led a coup against President José Balta Montero and served as the Supreme Leader of Peru for four days in July 1872. From July 22, 1872 to July 26, 1872, Gutiérrez was the de facto leader of Peru and the self-proclaimed "Supreme Leader of the Republic." He was overthrown just four days after his proclamation and lynched. Peru later regained some political stability with the election on Manuel Pardo, although this stability was short-lived as a foreign threat began to arise in Chile.



The 1872 elections in Peru had produced a victory for Manuel Pardo, who was to become the first civilian president in the history of Peru. Shortly before Pardo was to take office, however, Gutiérrez, serving as President Balta's Defense Minister, organized a coup d'état. Balta and Pardo were arrested and held captive on board the frigate Independence.

Gutiérrez proclaimed himself "Supreme Leader of the Republic" and asked for the support of the armed forces. However, only some of the Army agreed to support him, and the Navy issued a statement on July 23 which made it clear that they would not support the new regime. The citizens of Lima did not support Gutiérrez either, and the situation soon became violent. On July 26, one of Gutiérrez's brothers, Silvestre, was assassinated while driving through the city. In retaliation, President Gutiérrez ordered that Balta be executed.

Overthrow and death

Tomas Gutierrez and his brother. Lima, 1872 Gutierrez brothers 1872.jpg
Tomás Gutiérrez and his brother. Lima, 1872

By July 26, 1872, the crowd in Lima had organized into a mob and stormed Gutiérrez's palace. The 55-year-old Gutiérrez was captured and lynched. His body was hung from one of the towers of the Cathedral of Lima.

The four-day regime of Tomás Gutiérrez did not halt the increasing control of civilians in the Peruvian government. Just one week after Gutiérrez's overthrow, Pardo assumed the presidency and his party, the Civilista Party, would be a dominant force in Peruvian politics for decades to come.

Political offices
Preceded by
José Balta
Supreme Leader of the Republic of Peru
Succeeded by
Francisco Diez Canseco

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