António Pinto Soares
Early life and family
Born in Porto, Portugal sometime in 1780 to wealthy parents by the names of Alexandre Pinto and María Custodia Soares. He was a marine merchant and settled in Costa Rica circa 1810. He married María del Rosario Castro Ramírez (1792-1882) on April 26, 1813 in San José. She was daughter of Francisco Castro y Alvarado and María de la Trinidad Ramírez y Ulloa. From this marriage he had fifteen children: José Dolores, Fernando, Mercedes, José Antonio, Baltazar, Petronila, José Antonio Raimundo, Francisca, Liborio, José Concepción, Jesús, Francisco, José, Manuel, and Remigio (all by the surnames of Pinto Castro).
Public and private activities
He dedicated himself to sea trade, coffee agriculture, and commerce although he also served in the military and earned the rank of General. He commanded the Republican artillery units during the 1823 Battle of Ochomogo, served as Costa Rica's Commandant of Artillery, Prosecutor for the 1823 Special Tribunals, Second in Command of the Provincial Battalion for the Disciplined Militias, General Internal Commandant and lastly General Arms Commandant. He also aided the government during the 1835 Civil War before retiring from military service. After this he served as mayor of San José for several terms.
Head of State
In September 1842, when discontent with Francisco Morazán had peaked and the country was on the brink of a war with Nicaragua, Pinto led a popular uprising to overthrow him. He became Head of State on September 11, 1842, but he did not desire this power and peacefully conceded to José María Alfaro Zamora who was elected as Temporary Head of State by a collection of nobles from the different cities in the country.
During his brief administration, Soares restored relations with the rest of Central America which had been broken with Morazán's rise to power and had even led to an alliance by them against his administration. The government of El Salvador granted him the rank of Division General.
From September 1842 to April 1844 he once again served as General Arms Commandant.
He had great difficulties with the Juan Rafael Mora Porras administration, which in 1851 accused him of plotting against the government. This led to a criminal case being opened against him and his son Liborio but this was interrupted shortly after.
He died in San José on April 6, 1865.
- Obregón Quesada, Clotilde, "Nuestros gobernantes".
| Head of State of Costa Rica
José María Alfaro Zamora
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