|26th President of Paraguay|
August 15, 1912 – August 15, 1916
|Vice President||Pedro Bobadilla|
|Preceded by||Emiliano González Navero|
|Succeeded by||Manuel Franco|
December 2, 1873|
|Died||November 12, 1941
|Political party||Liberal Party|
|Spouse(s)||Silvia Matilde Heiseke|
Eduardo Schaerer Vera y Aragón (December 2, 1873 in Caazapá – November 12, 1941 in Buenos Aires) was a Paraguayan businessman, publisher, and Liberal politician. He served as President of the Republic of Paraguay for the constitutional term 1912–1916. Among the achievements of his government are the creation of rural schools and extension of benefits for war veterans.
Schaerer was succeeded by Dr. Manuel Franco on August 15, 1916. Ex-president Schaerer continued in public service as a senator in 1921 and founded the newspaper La Tribuna in 1925. He was deported in 1931 for involvement in an abortive uprising. He died, age 67, in Argentine exile.
Schaerer was born in Caazapá, on December 2, 1873 to Mr. Otto Santiago Schaerer and Mrs. Elizabeth Vera y Aragon. While his mother was Paraguayan, his father was Swiss (from Vordemwald), and the special character that distinguished Schaerer was inherited from him. Schaerer was married to Mrs. Silvia Matilde Heiseke and had children with her, one that deserves to be mentioned, was Arturo Schaerer, who led the publication of the significant historical series "A hundred years ago," by Dr. Efrain Cardozo.
His elementary education was conducted in his hometown, and the high school level, in the National High School of the Capital, although there is no record that he has finished it. He said once that he never studied in "rotten academies" and Don Arsenio Lopez Decoud told him to not even have the "romantic condition of bachelor in science and letters." He was devoted to trade, politics and journalism. He was one of the flamboyant founders of "El Diario" together with Gualberto Cardús Huerta and Adolfo Riquelme, and also founder of The Tribune, newspaper of his own property that at that time, was the leader of the national press. He died in Buenos Aires on November 12, 1941.
The name of Don Eduardo Schaerer had been spoken repeatedly in the city, as the only one capable of guiding the difficult circumstances that became apparent in the future. He assumed the presidency of the Republic from August 15, 1912 until August 15, 1916. His cabinet was composed of: Eusebio Ayala, Foreign Affairs; Manuel Gondra, War and Navy; Félix Paiva, Justice, Culture and Public Instruction; Jerónimo Zubizarreta, Finances and Jose P. Montero, Interior. There were some changes later: Gondra went to the chancery, Colonel Patricio A. Escobar War and Navy; Eusebio Ayala to Treasury, Culture and Public Instruction and Belisario Rivarola to Justice.
During his administration, a new Municipal Organic Law came into force. There were carried out several public works, as improving public parks, street paving, demolition and relocation to the old central market, demolition of the former House of Governors, for opening a Centennial Walk.
A relative political stability began, which lasted nearly a decade. In 1912, Dr. Manuel Franco was assigned rector of the University. In 1913 the resignation of Dr. Teodosio Gonzalez to his professorship of Criminal Law was accepted and Simeon Carísimo was appointed director of the National College of Villarrica, where Francis Ruffinelli began to work as professor of geography. In 1913 Asuncion had street lighting and electric train system and the railway line from Encarnación to Posada was started.
In the educational field, there was an important decree, which included learning English in the High school curriculum. It was created, in addition, Rural Normal Schools in three of the historical villas: Villarrica Encarnacion and Pilar, as well as in Barrero Grande. These institutes later became Normal Elementary Schools.
He authorized the donation of numerous scholarships, he also promoted to help war veterans and on June 23, 1915 it was passed the creation of the Military Academy.
In the Judiciary order Dr. Cecilio Báez was appointed to the Superior Court, Federico Chaves was appointed prosecutor of crime and Luis Ruffinelli defender of poor inmates in 1914, and in August 1915 Dr. Enrique Bordenave assumed the general secretariat of the presidency. In the same year he adopted the curriculum of the School of Commerce and it was expanded the law of regulation of secondary and higher education.
The cultural situation of the country received a motivation encouraged by Don Manuel Gondra, the "thinking man", one of the most important intellectual men of that time. Schaerer signed the appointments of poets and artists, as Ruben Dario, Narciso Colmán, Leopoldo Jimenez Ramos, Eloy Fariña Núñez, Delfín Chamorro, Manuel Ortiz Guerrero, Modesto Delgado Rodas, Justo Pastor, Federico Garcia; among others.
One of the most significant things was the continuing numbers of laws, beginning with the year 1913. Theses are distinguished: the permission to rid the public post office of San Lorenzo Ñu Guazú in (1912); one in which is resolved the acquisition of materials for the Museum of Natural History in (1913) and another one that set the continuation of the reconstruction work of the Oratory. It was appointed for this purpose an ad honorem commission.
On January 1, 1915 people in Asuncion were awakened in early hours with a terrifying shooting. The bullets came from an uprising led by Dr. Freire Gomes Esteves and his brother, Luis Freire Esteves. As Colonel Manuel J. Duarte was absent, the military commanders were a captain, a lieutenant and a sergeant. They captured the president but the attempt failed. The main reason for the revolt was the closure of printing, event that had not stop from happening again.
Schaerer was the first civilian President who managed to complete his mandate without conspiracies or military uprisings.
In the year 1904 he was part of the main civilians leaders of the liberal insurgency, he acted in Our Lady of Pilar, Ñeembucú. Schaerer emerged as one of the signatories of the manifesto read “to the People”, on July 4, 1908, with which the "radical" group tried to justify the brutal uprising that was planned by mayor Albino Jara. He was mayor of the municipality of Asuncion between July 5, 1908 and January 17, 1911. He also served as Director of Customs, Minister of the Interior (1912) and Senator (1921). On August 7 of that year, he signed the invitation to participate in the assembly of that style, which took place on the 15th at the National Theater, which at that time intended to "constitute a large ruling party."
Pedro P. Peña
|President of Paraguay
- (Spanish) Biography at the Wayback Machine (archived October 26, 2004) (Presidency of the Republic of Paraguay) (in Spanish)
- "Paraguay's Former President Dies in Exile at 66." New York Times 13 November 1941: 28.