|1st Supreme Leader of the Republic of Peru|
July 22, 1872 – July 26, 1872
|Preceded by||José Balta|
|Succeeded by||Francisco Diez Canseco|
|Died||July 26, 1872|
Tomás Gutiérrez was a Peruvian military man who led a coup against President José Balta Montero. 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 forManuel 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
By July 26, 1872, the crowd in Lima had organized into a mob and stormed Gutiérrez's palace. 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.
|President of Peru|
Francisco Diez Canseco