José Santos Guardiola

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José Santos Guardiola Bustillo
José Santos Guardiola.jpg
President of Honduras
In office
17 February 1856 – 11 January 1862
Vice PresidentJosé María Lazo Guillén
Victoriano Castellanos
Preceded byJosé Trinidad Cabañas
Succeeded byJosé María Medina
Personal details
Born11 January 1816
Tegucigalpa , Honduras
Died11 January 1862(1862-01-11) (aged 45)
Comayagua, Honduras
Political partyConservative Party of Honduras
Spouse(s)Ana de Arbizu
Jose Santos Guardiola

General José Santos Guardiola Bustillo (1 November 1816 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras – 11 January 1862 in Comayagua, Honduras) was a two-term President of Honduras from 17 February 1856 to 7 February 1860 and from 7 February 1860 to his death on 11 January 1862, when he became the only President of Honduras to be assassinated while in office in a crime committed by his personal guard.

His parents were the Catalan miner Esteban Guardiola and Bibiana Bustillo. He married Ana de Arzibu and one of their many daughters, Genoveva Guardiola Arbizú, married the first President of the Republic of Cuba, Tomás Estrada Palma.

For his first term, he was elected president by Congress after the overthrow of Trinidad Cabañas.[1] His second term came through the way of free elections in which he won easily. His administration was one of the most liberal in Honduran history, in spite of him belonging to the Conservative Party. His government granted freedom of press, suffrage and movement; it respected and it guaranteed the individual freedom and it regularized the relations between the church and the State. He opposed Francisco Morazán in the conflict over whether to have a Central American state.

His good relations with the British helped facilitate the return of governance of the Bay Islands and the La Mosquitia region into Honduras. He struck a deal with Queen Victoria on which Great Britain recognized the Honduran sovereignty of the aforementioned territories (the treaty of Wyke-Cruz) as long as the inhabitants of the islands were granted freedom of worship. For this the Vicar of Comayagua, Miguel del Cid, enemy of General Guardiola, excommunicated him, but Pope Pius IX overturned it and named Juan de Jesus Zepeda Zepeda as Bishop of Honduras. He fought against William Walker, who aspired to conquering Central America in the name of Democracy.

Composer Guadalupe Haertling was among Guardiola's descendants.[2]


  1. ^ Dana Munro. 1918. The Five Republics of Central America, p. 122
  2. ^ Otto Mayer-Serra (1947). Música y músicos de Latinoamérica. Editorial Atlante; distribuidores exclusivos.