Lázaro Chacón González

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Lázaro Chacón González
President General Lázaro Chacón
President of Guatemala
In office
26 September 1926 – 2 January 1931
Preceded byJosé María Orellana
Succeeded byJorge Ubico
Personal details
Born(1873-06-27)June 27, 1873
Teculután, Zacapa, Guatemala
DiedApril 8, 1931(1931-04-08) (aged 57)
New Orleans, Louisiana, US
Spouse(s)Josefina de Chacón
ChildrenLázaro Chacón, Alfredo Chacón, Gilberto Chacón
ProfessionGeneral and Politician

Lázaro Chacón González (June 27, 1873 – April 9, 1931) was the acting President of Guatemala from 26 September 1926 to 18 December 1926 and President of Guatemala from 19 December 1926 to 2 January 1931.

Born in Teculután, Zacapa he was the son of Juan José Chacón Paiz and Soledad González Paiz who died during his birth. He is grandson of José Deciderio Chacón and María del Rosario Paiz, and also grandson of Vicente González Chacón and Josefa Paiz Cordón.

Chacón's aunt, Cleta Chacón became his adopted mother. He married Josefina Pazos.

Interim President[edit]

On 25 May 1926, El Imparcial -a private newspaper- had published a news flash: Martial law enacted which referred to executive decree 916, in which President Orellana had suspended the individual guarantees contained in the Constitution; the main reason for such decision was that "insidious and unpatriotic activities of certain elements" tended "to disrupt the peace and development of the country", which, at once, made it impossible to solve the national economic problem. Although El Imparcial was not circulating regularly in the previous days -due to a government boycott-, after May 26 it ceased publication indefinitely. Thereafter, only the official news outlets, such as Diario de Centro América and El Guatemalteco, could circulate, carrying irrelevant information.[1] The story took a sudden turn on Sunday September 26, when, at 0:15 pm, Orellana died during a vacation trip to Antigua Guatemala; he was in a room at Hotel Manchén. "A violent angina attack ended the life of our illustrious president," explained Diario de Centro America in a special edition that day.[1] These strange circumstances led to the suspicion that he was poisoned.[2] General Lázaro Chacón assumed as interim President and immediately lifted Martial Law and allowed private newspaper to be published again.[1]


Chacón in 1915.

Chacón was first appointed to the position of Chairman and interim president following the death of General José María Orellana. He then called for elections in which his main opponent was general Jorge Ubico. Chacón defeated Ubico thanks in part to the strong campaign that journalist Clemente Marroquín Rojas made against the latter in his column called Desnudando al ídolo.[Note 1][3] Chacón government took some liberties such as creating the National Mortgage Bank (Crédito Hipotecario Nacional) as well as constructing the Faculty of Medicine building for the Faculty of Natural Sciences. During his tenure the Legislative Palace and the national railroad were also completed. During his presidency, the Guatemalan currency was stabilized, but Guatemala suffered the effects of the Great Depression in 1929.

Stroke and resignation[edit]

In December, 1930 the following events occurred in a rapid succession:[4][5][6]

  • On 12 December, General Chacón suffers a stroke that forces him to resign.
  • General Mauro de León, first designated successor to the Presidency apparently resigns.
  • Lawyer and cabinet member Baudilio Palma, second designated successor, is appointed interim President.
  • On 17 December 1930 a coup d'etat led by general Manuel María Orellana Contreras[Note 2] forces Palma to resign after a short battle inside the Presidential Palace. During the fight, that lasted no more than an hour, both Palma and Mauro de León died. The Liberal Progresista party places general Roderico Anzueto in the key position of Chief of Police.[Note 3]
  • On 2 January 1931 José María Reina Andrade is appointed interim President, after the foreign nations representatives refuse to deal with Orellana Contreras and calls for presidential elections.
  • On 7 February 1931, general Jorge Ubico Castañeda wins the elections and is sworn as President. The Liberal Party joined with the Progressives to nominate Ubico as Andrade's successor, and although he was the only candidate on the ballot, he received 305,841 votes on February, 1931.[7][unreliable source?] In his inaugural address, he pledged a "march toward civilization". Once in office, he began a campaign of efficiency that included assuming dictatorial power.


Chacón died in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States on April 9, 1931 at age 57 as a consequence of his stroke.[8]

Additional information[edit]

His granddaughter Josefina Chacon de Machado was a magistrate and President of the Guatemalan Supreme Court.

His grandson Carlos Gilberto Chacon Torrebiarte was also magistrate and President of the Guatemalan Supreme Court.

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ Desnudando al ídolo= Showing the idol as he really is.
  2. ^ First cousin of late former president José María Orellana.
  3. ^ Anzueto would eventually become one of President Jorge Ubico main supporters during his 14 year presidency.


  1. ^ a b c Villalobos Viato 2013.
  2. ^ Hernández de León 1930a.
  3. ^ Ishlaj Conde de González 2006.
  4. ^ Time 1930.
  5. ^ Time 1931.
  6. ^ Díaz Romeu 1996, p. 37-42.
  7. ^ "Rare Distinction of Gen. Ubico's Election," San Antonio Express, February 12, 1931, p3[unreliable source?]
  8. ^ Aqui Guatemala n.d.


  • Aqui Guatemala (n.d.). "Lázaro Chacón". Aqui Guatemala (in Spanish). Guatemala. Archived from the original on 27 January 2011.
  • Asociación de Amigos del País (2004). Diccionario histórico biográfico de Guatemala (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Guatemala: Amigos del País, Fundación para la Cultura y el Desarrollo. ISBN 99922-44-01-1.
  • Díaz Romeu, Guillermo (1996). "Del régimen de Carlos Herrera a la elección de Jorge Ubico". Historia general de Guatemala. 1993–1999 (in Spanish). Guatemala: Asociación de Amigos del País, Fundación para la Cultura y el Desarrollo. 5: 37–42. Archived from the original on 2015-01-12.
  • Red Boa (2012). "Historia del Diario de Centro América" (PDF). Foro Red Boa (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  • Fuentes Oliva, Regina (September 2012). "1920, una década de cambios educativos para Guatemala". Boletín AFEHC (in Spanish) (54). Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  • Hernández de León, Federico (December 1930). "Golpe de Estado contra presidente Baudilio Palma". Nuestro Diario (in Spanish). Guatemala.
  • — (1930a). El Libro de las Efemérides (in Spanish). Guatemala: Tipografía Sánchez y de Guise.
  • Ishlaj Conde de González, Y.A. (2006). Clemente Marroquín Rojas, su vida y su obra (PDF) (in Spanish). Guatemala: Tesis; Universidad de San Carlos.
  • Villagrán Kramer, Francisco (1993). Biografía política de Guatemala (in Spanish). 1 (3rd ed.). Guatemala: FLACSO. p. 411. ISBN 9789993972815.
  • Villalobos Viato, Roberto (August 2013). "La noticia nunca publicada por El Imparcial". Prensa Libre (in Spanish). Guatemala. Archived from the original on 29 August 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  • Time (1930). "Wrong horse No. 2". Time magazine. US.
  • — (1931). "We are not amused". Time magazine. US.
Political offices
Preceded by
José María Orellana
Coat of arms of Guatemala.svg
President of Guatemala

Succeeded by
Baudilio Palma