In 1835 he joined the army as a cadet and was assigned as assistant to Gen. Ramón Castilla, who immediately gave him the grade of lieutenant and took him in her company, first to Lima when he was to meet General Felipe Santiago Salaverry, and then when he fled to Chile, evade the pursuit of successful Andrés de Santa Cruz, which established the Bolivian Confederation Peru. With other exiles Peruvians in Chile, Francisco joined the Battalion of Hunters, and the battle of Baron June 6, 1837 helped defeat the rebels who murdered the Chilean Minister Diego Portales.
He attended the First Expedition restored, and during the Second participated in the battles of Home Guides (1838) and Yungay (1839).Promoted to lieutenant, went to garrison the department of Puno, supported the action against the movement Castilla regenerator Manuel Ignacio de Vivanco, participated in the war against Bolivia, and during the battle of Ingavi of November 18, 1841 was promoted to captain by President Agustin Gamarra, who then attended during his last moments of life. Prisoner, remained in Santa Cruz de la Sierra to the signing of peace with Bolivia, June 7, 1842.
He went on to Lima and served the government of General Juan Crisostomo Torrico until his defeat in the Battle of Agua Santa, October 17, 1842. Then collaborated with the government of General Juan Francisco de Vidal, who promoted him to sergeant in 1843. Overthrown it, joined the movement led by the general constitutional Domingo Nieto and Ramon Castilla, and acted in the battle fought on the river Pampas and in the decisive battle of Carmen Alto, July 22, 1844. Deserved promotion to lieutenant colonel graduated (1845) and then cash (1847). Sent to Tacna, quelled the revolt initiated by General José Félix Iguain (1848) and remained in Puno to neutralize the Bolivian border fakes.
Promoted to colonel in 1851, served as aide to President Jose Rufino Echenique, but joined the revolution that led Castilla Arequipa, participating throughout the campaign that ended in the battle of La Palma, January 5, 1855. Appointed head of the garrison of Lima, maintained order while trying to extend the general Vivanco revolution against the government of Castile by a raid along the coast, and in order to safeguard the country's economic stability, was entrusted with the government of the Chincha Islands, who served from 1857 to 1861.
Appointed Prefect of Callao in 1861, went to the body of aides of President Miguel de San Román in 1862. In 1863, during the brief interim of his brother, General Pedro Diez Canseco, he was appointed prefect of Lima, a position he held due to the repeated request of President Juan Antonio Pezet. In 1865 he was promoted to brigadier general and took charge of office in the capital when Pezet went before the camp to stop the advance of the revolution under the leadership of Mariano Ignacio Prado and Pedro Diez Canseco.Despite this personal circumstances, strongly defended the Government Palace, which fell after a violent six-hour battle. The pillaging mob intervened and file of the palace caught fire.
Francisco was arrested and then taken out of service. Already under the Prado government actively conspired like his brother Peter, who was named chief political and military departments of the center. And then took the Callao Lima, January 8, 1868, ending the regime of Prado. Temporarily took charge of the executive branch for 14 days, then handing over power to his brother Peter, who was legally entitled to be the second vice constitutional, according to the 1862 elections, considered the last legitimate.
Elected second vice-president of the government headed by Jose Balta, in 1868, assumed the supreme authority in two brief opportunities:
For illness of President Balta, 27 to June 28, 1871.
Balta for killing and lynching of Colonel Thomas Gutierrez, July 26, 1872, while taking the decision on who would assume the government.
In compliance with the Constitution of 1860 gave the command to the first vice president, Mariano Herencia Zevallos general, the July 27, 1872, to conclude that this presidential term of Colonel Balta.
Retired to private life, called back to service during the war with Chile, and disciplined units of the reserve. During the brief administration of Francisco García Calderón, in 1881, was Minister of War.