Chronography of Paraguay

Page last modified 16 January 2021


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Map of historical changes to Paraguay here

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See also Central/South America for other Caribbean and Latin American states


1994, The Paraguayan Congress tried, but failed, to limit the power of the military.

1993, President Juan Carlos Wasmosy was elected president of Paraguay


Rule of General Stroessner

3 February 1989, General Stroessner of Paraguay was ousted in a coup after eight terms and 35 years in office. General Andres Rodriguez, previously close to Stroessner, took control.

1973, Brazil and Paraguay agreed to build a large hydro-electric dam on the Parana River at Itaipu.

27 March 1965, The Friendship Bridge opened, a road bridge over the River Parana between Brazil and Paraguay. This completed a 736 mile road link between Asuncion and the Brazilian seaport of Paranagua.

10 February 1963, Alfredo Stroessner was elected President of Paraguay for a third term.

12 December 1959, Despite Paraguay�s closure of its border with Argentina, some 1,000 revolutionaries crossed form Argentina into Paraguay. They penetrated several kilometres before being repulsed. Paraguay�s Governmentnow declared a State of Emergency. There were six further attempted guerrilla incursions form Argentina during 1960, and unrest in southern Paraguay intensified.

9/1959, President Stroessner ordered the closure of the Paraguayan border with Argentina, fearing insurgency form that country.

1954, President Stroessner was formally �elected�.

5 May 1954, General Alfredo Stroessner led a successful revolt, backed by the Army and Liberals, deposing President Frederico Chavez.

2 March 1954, President Lopez of Paraguay died, aged 54, as Asuncion. General Alfredo Stroessner was later �elected� in his place; he gave refuge to Nazi war criminals.

1953, President Frederico Chavez, President of Paraguay since 1949, was re-elected, despite a weak sconomy.


6 June 1948, A 6-year period of political instability began, with a successful military coup against President Morinigo. Paraguay then had 6 different Presidents during the next 15 months.

10 October 1938, A meeting of Latin American Presidents awarded most of the Chaco Boreal to Paraguay, whilst providing that Bolivia should have a trade route to the Atlantic via the Paraguay River.

11 March 1936. Paraguay set up America�s first Fascist regime.


The Chaco War, 1928-38

21 July 1938, The Peace Treaty of Buenos Aires formalised the end of the Chaco War. Paraguay retained mpost of the Chaco region, and Bolivia was given access to the Atlantic via the Paraguay and Parana Riversand the use of Puetrto Casada as a free port.

12 June 1935. Bolivia and Paraguay signed an armistice to end their 3 year war over the disputed Chaco area. This war had claimed 35,000 lives for the Chaco Boreal, a wasteland of some 100,000 square miles west of the Paraguay River, the subject of a dispute between Paraguay and Bolivia since 1825. Bolivia, deprived of its coastal territories since the Pacific War with Chile, wanted to use the Chaco as a shipping route for its oil exports, and to exploit the oil reserves of the Chaco itself. Bolivian troops invaded in 1928. Skirmishes continued between incoming Bolivians and the Paraguayans already in The Chaco, until Paraguay launched a major offensive in 1932 and formally declared war in May 1933. Initially the larger and better-trained Bolivian army, under the German General Hans von Kundt had success, capturing Fort Boqueron in June 1933. However in 1934 Paraguay began a national mobilisation, seeing the Chaco ias its own land. Under Colonel Jose felix Estegarribia the Paraguayans gained the upper hand, capturing much Bolivian land. By 1935 both sides were weary of war, so agreed an armistice. See 15 June 1932.

17 November 1934, Paraguay captured the key Bolivian fort of Ballivian.

10 May 1933. Paraguay formally declared war on Bolivia.

15 June 1932, The Chaco war broke out. Bolivian troops attacked Paraguay. The dispute had been exacerbated by the issue of a Paraguayan postage stamp bearing a map with the Chaco labelled as �Chaco Paraguayo�, along with the provocative words �Ha sido, es, y sera�(Has been, is, and will be). The war lasted until 1935, see 12 June 1935.

16 September1929. Bolivia and Paraguay signed an agreement to end their 10 month border dispute.

6 December 1928, Border clashed beteween Bolivia and Paraguay ovet the Chaco region began.


15 August1920, Manuel Gondra was inaugurated as President of Paraguay.

3 November 1912. Alfredo Stroessner, President of Paraguay, was born.

15 August1912, Eduardo Schaerer becamethe 26th President of Paraguay. He served a full four-year term.


War of the Triple Alliance

20 June 1870, Paraguay signed a peace treaty with Argentina and Brazil, ceding 55,000 square miles of territory to these two countries.

1 April 1870, Francisco Lopez, Commander in Chief of the Paraguayan Army, was killed as he attempted to escape from an ambush by Brazilian forces.

1 March 1870, President Lopez of Paraguay was killed.

31 December 1868, The Triple Alliance forces occupied Asuncion, capital of Paraguay.

1867, Triple Alliance forces slowly pushed up the Paraguay River, capturing the strategic fortress of Humaita as Paarguayan forces fell back to Angostura and Ypacarai. In late 1867 the Paraguyan capital, Asuncion was seized and sacked by Brazilian forces. Lopex now fled to the countryside anfd continued a guerrilla war in noirthern and eastern Paraguay until his death in 1870.

22 September1866, President Lopez of Paraguay won the Battle of Curupayti, afte several defeats by the Triple Alliance., but this was ony a temporary respite for him.

1 May 1865. Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay formed a triple alliance against Paraguay. This war began when Paraguayan President Lopez tried to force a pro-Paraguayan President on the people of Uruguay. Brazil intervened in support of the legitimate candidate, and Lopez declared war on Brazil. He also declared war on Argentina, for refusing passage for his troops across its territory, and for good measure declared war on Uruguay too. A few months later Brazil had sunk the Paraguayan navy in the Parana River and by 1867 the alliance�s land forces under Argentine General Bartolome Mitre had penetrated deep into Paraguayan territory. By January 1869 the Paraguayan capital Asuncion lay in ruins and two thirds of the adult population of Paraguay, 300,000 people, were either dead or missing.

18 April 1865, Uruguay joined Argentina in fighting Paraguay.

13 April 1865, Lopez, dictator of Paraguay, seized two Argentine warships, and the next day occupied the Argentine town of Corrientes.

12 November 1864, Paraguay seized a Brazilian arms ship.

31 August1864, President Francesco Lopez of Paraguay issued an ultimatum to Brazil not to interfere in Uruguay. In October 1864 Brazil invaded Paraguay.


10 September1862, Carlos Lopez, dictator of Paraguay, died aged 75. He was succeeded by his 36-year-old son, Francisco Lopez.

17 July 1852, Argentina recognised the independence of Paraguay.

1842, Carlos Antonio Lopez became dictator, ruling until 1862.

20 September1840, Jose Francia, dictator of Paraguay from 1814, died.

24 July 1826, Francisco Solano Lopez, son of Paraguayan dictator Antonio Lopez and Commander in Chief of the Paraguayan Army from 1845, was born

1814, Jose Gaspar Rodriguez Francia, �El Supremo�, came to power. Initially elected to serve three years, he obtained dictatorship for life. He was anti-Church, he ruled the country harshly, but free from corruption, until 1840. He was the first of three dictators.

14 May 1811. Paraguay proclaimed itself independent. It became a dictatorship, essentially isolated from the rest of the world.

4 November 1790, Carlos Antonio Lopez, dictator of Paraguay 1840-62, was born.

1767, The Jesuits, who had arrived in Paraguay in 1588 to convert the Amerindians, were expelled.

5 July 1731, Jose de Antequera y Castro (1690-1731), who resisted the autocratic rule of the Spanish monarchy ovetr its colony of Paraguay, was captured in Lima, Peru, and executed by the Spanish this day.

1721, Paraguay achieved temporary independence from Spain as Jose de Antequera led a revolt. Spain regained control in 1731.

1617, Hernando Arias de Saavedra, Governor of Rio de la Plata province, split Paraguay off from Argentina.

1537, Asuncion was founded by the Spanish explorer, Juan de Salazar. It was established as a fort to enable further exploration of South America, in search of silver. The Guarani, a settled farming people, assisted the Spanish to settle, because the Spanish conquered the southern Chaco area, home to nomadic peoples who raided Guarani settlements.

1535, Paraguay was first settled by the Spanish.

1526, The Spanish first explored the upper reaches of the Paraguay River.


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