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Offline hardluckTopic starter
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« on: December 27, 2010, 04:50:57 am »
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Hello All

Here is a treasure story about a insane megalomaniac dictator who in his last days buried his personnel wealth in a remote Paraguay wilderness.

Francisco Solano L?pez Carrillo (24 July 1826 ? 1 March 1870) was president of Paraguay from 1862 until his death in 1870. He was the eldest son of president Carlos Antonio L?pez, whom he succeeded.

Considered ambitious, perhaps arrogant, and possibly insane, Solano L?pez is widely regarded as being responsible for the War of the Triple Alliance, which led to his death.

Solano L?pez was born in Manor? (Asunci?n). He was made Brigadier General of the Paraguayan army by his father at the age of 18, in 1844, during the spasmodic hostilities then prevailing with Argentina.He was sent in 1853 as minister plenipotentiary to Britain, France and Italy, and spent a year and a half in Europe.

 He purchased large quantities of arms and military supplies, together with several steamers, and organized a project for building a railroad and establishing a French colony in Paraguay. He also became infatuated with the empire of Napoleon III and Napoleon himself.

 L?pez equipped his army with exact copies of uniforms of Napoleonic army. He ordered for himself exact replica of Napoleon's crown.While there, he met Parisian courtesan Eliza Lynch and brought her with him back to Paraguay. There she was his mistress and de-facto first lady till his death, strongly influencing his later ambitious schemes.

Returning to Paraguay, he became Minister of War in 1855. Solano L?pez was appointed as Vice President by his father. When his father died in 1862, L?pez then called a congress that unanimously chose him as president for ten years.

In 1864, after Brazil began supporting a rising revolution in Uruguay by Venancio Flores against the White party government of Atanasio Aguirre, who was an ally of Paraguay and did not have friendly relations with Brazil Uruguay requested Paraguay to intervene in the subject.

 L?pez manifested this support via a letter to Brazil where it said that any occupation of Uruguayan lands by Brazil would be considered as an attack on Paraguay. When Brazil did not heed the letter and invaded Uruguay on October 12, 1864, L?pez seized the Brazilian merchant steamer "Marqu?s de Olinda" in the harbour of Asunci?n and imprisoned the Brazilian governor of the province of Mato Grosso, who was on board.

 In the following month (December 1864) he dispatched a force to invade Mato Grosso, which seized and sacked the town of Corumb? and took possession of the province and its diamond mines. However, Paraguayan forces could not or would not seize the capital city of Cuiab?, in Northern Mato Grosso.

L?pez next intended to send troops to Uruguay to support the government of his ally, yet when he requested from Argentina permission to cross Argentine soil, Argentine President Bartolom? Mitre refused to allow this force to cross the intervening province of Corrientes.

 L?pez then declared war on Argentina. By then Brazil had already overthrown the Uruguayan government of Aguirre and installed Flores in his stead, rendering Uruguay little more than a Brazilian puppet.

A hastily summoned congress composed of L?pez's own nominees bestowed the title of Marshal upon him and gave him extraordinary war powers. On 13 April 1865, he declared war, seizing two Argentine war vessels in the Bay of Corrientes.

The next day, he occupied the town of Corrientes, instituted a provisional government of his Argentine partisans, and announced that Paraguay had annexed Corrientes Province and Entre R?os Province.

On 1 May, Brazil joined Argentina and (conquered) Uruguay and signed the Treaty of the Triple Alliance, which stipulated that they should unitedly pursue the war until the existing government of Paraguay was overthrown, "until no arms or elements of war should be left to it." This agreement was literally carried out.

The war of the triple alliance which ensued, lasting until 1 March 1870, was carried on with great stubbornness and with alternating fortunes, though L?pez's disasters steadily increased.

On September 12, 1866, L?pez invited Mitre to a conference in Yatayty Cor?. L?pez had realized that the war was lost and was ready to sign a peace treaty with the Allies. No agreement was reached though since Mitre's conditions for rendition were that every article of the Secret Treaty of the Triple Alliance was still to be carried out, a condition to which L?pez refused.

Regardless of L?pez's refusal, a peace treaty was not something Mitre could guarantee since article 6 in the secret treaty stated that "The allies solemnly commit themselves no to abandon arms unless commonly agreed, and as long as they haven?t overthrown the current government of Paraguay, as well as not to try separately, nor sign any peace treaty, truce, armistice which would put an end to or suspend the war, unless agreed by all parties". This not only rendered any possibility of truce or peace nearly impossible but also stipulated that the war was to continue until the current government ceased to be, which meant the death of L?pez.

In 1868, when the allies were pressing him hard, he convinced himself that his Paraguayan supporters had actually formed a conspiracy against his life. Thereupon several hundred prominent Paraguayan citizens were seized and executed by his order, including his brothers and brothers-in-law, cabinet ministers, judges, prefects, military officers, bishops and priests, and nine-tenths of the civil officers, together with more than two hundred foreigners, among them several members of the diplomatic legations (the San Fernando massacres).

During this time he also had his 70-year old mother flogged and ordered her execution, because she revealed to him that he was born out of wedlock.[11] L?pez also attempted to have himself canonized by the local bishops. In 1870 he proclaimed himself a saint. 23 Paraguayan bishops did not agree with the canonization and were executed on L?pez's orders.

L?pez was at last driven with a handful of troops to the northern frontier of Paraguay. He arrived at Cerro Cor? on 14 February 1870. Two detachments were sent in pursuit of Solano L?pez, who was accompanied by 200 men in the forests in the north where he received news of the considerable Brazilian force that were closing in on him.

 This caused some of the officials who were still with L?pez to abandon him and approach the allied force, under the command of the Brazilian General Jos? Ant?nio Correia da C?mara, which they readily joined as scouts in order to lead them to L?pez.

Upon hearing about this, L?pez called a last war council with the remaining officers of his general staff in order to decide the course of action for the upcoming battle, whether they should escape into the hill range or stay and make a stand against the attackers. The counsel decided to stay and end the war once and for all by fighting to death.

The Brazilian force reached the camp on the 1 March. During the battle that ensued, L?pez was separated from the remainder of his army and was accompanied only by his aide and a couple of officers. He had been wounded with a spear in the stomach and hit with a sword in the side of his head and so was too weak to walk by himself.

 They led him to the Aquidabangui stream. There the officers left L?pez with the pretext of getting reinforcements. While he was alone with his aide, General C?mara arrived along with six soldiers and approached L?pez offering him to surrender and guaranteeing his life. L?pez refused and shouting, ?Muero con mi patria!? (I die with my nation), and tried to attack C?mara with his sword.

 C?mara ordered L?pez to be disarmed, but L?pez died during the struggle with the soldiers who were trying to disarm him. This incident marked the end of the war of the Triple Alliance.

There was a story originated by his mistress that in his last days he buried treasure in a secret location on the 1st of March 1870 on a hill called Cerro Cor?-surrounded by a valley of the same name, in the north-east of Paraguay.

Francisco Solano L?pez Carrillo lover Mrs Lynch survived and tried to interest Argentinian merchants to recover the treasure. But she was deported by the government of the day and was never able to recover the treasure.

After being taken prisoner she was taken on board a ship called "Princesa" (Princess) to Asuncion, where she was banished from the nation by the newly established provisional government, constituted by Paraguayans who had fought in favour of the allied forces and against L?pez army.

 She returned to Europe with the children she had left; and after five years, and under promises of the then elected Paraguayan president Juan Bautista Gill that she would be respected, she decided to return to Paraguay to settle there and try to claim her former property and treasure.

Upon arrival, however, she was tried and banished from the country permanently by President Gill. It was during these events that she wrote her book. Eliza Lynch died in obscurity in Paris on 27 July 1886.

To this day it is not known if the treasury Francisco Solano L?pez Carrillo had allegedly buried has ever been found.

Hardluck


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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2010, 12:50:29 pm »
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Another riveting tale.....

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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 07:20:48 am »
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Hello BA

Riveting it was.

It was one of places I visited as side trip during my time in south America. I had come from Brazil and was passing through to Argentina. I had time to search the archives for another treasure related matter in Bolivia. It was by chance I came across some interesting documents on the above subject. A letter with an illustration of an alleged location of the site written in 1875 by Eliza Lynch. I managed to get a few photocopies on ancient zerox.

But it was very dangerous to be in Paraguay at that time. There was an attempted coup. With support from the United States, the Organization of American States, and other countries in the region, the Paraguayan people rejected an April 1996 attempt by then Army Chief General Lino Oviedo to oust President Wasmosy, taking an important step to strengthen democracy.The uncertainty went on to 1998. when some of remaining coup plotters got elected anyway.

However it was not the time and place to be without contacts or attempt a side trip. But back then I was gun ho and lived like there was no tomorrow. I decided through the documents to do a preliminary search for the location of the last battle and the mysterious hill called Cerro Cora.

I found out that the location was a  now a national park. The park can be visited but it is also heavy guarded by armed park rangers. Back then it was feared that guerrillas were training to overthrow the government. The army was divided by loyalties between the government and the military elite that tried overthrow the government. There as a suspicion of all foreigners and journalist that may be trying to dig up dirt to stir up trouble.

However through contacts I was assisted by ex military officer called Rameriez who owned several helicopters used for tourists around Iguassu Falls  and several business around the country. He was very interested in my interest to see this Park he wine and dined me the night before. It was a quick charter flight to the national park as a day trip.

The hill of Cerro Cora is stands out as it is a cone shaped hill. There are many caves in region many have strange ancient wall paintings. From the the document I saw I wanted to see If the hills lined up to an illustration in Eliza letters. amazingly it did. However the day was hot and humid and I was feeling a relapse of malaria. I had some time ago and being short of medicine I decided not to push my luck and returned to Asuncion.

I am sure that was the location of the last battle and the hill I believe is or was the alleged site of where Eliza claimed that treasure was Hidden. However sickness and events in the country made think it wise to not outstay my welcome.

Good thing as I was in the airport security police or death squads was dragging people off beating the crap out of them. By then the tremors had started to take its toll and they were I think they were only interested in making sure I left the country.

I have often wondered if it had already been recovered or perhaps maybe it still lies hidden away awaiting discovery?

To this day I am not really sure?

Hardluck

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« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 07:38:04 am by hardluck »
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2010, 05:31:43 pm »
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Would make a great movie! Smiley
Quite an adventure, so close and yet so far away.

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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2010, 07:36:20 pm »
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Hello All

Eliza lynch life would make a good movie.

She was born Eliza Alicia Lynch in Cork, Ireland. She emigrated at the age of ten with her family to Paris to escape the Great Irish potato Famine. On the 3rd of June, 1850, she married Xavier Quatrefages, a French officer who was shortly afterwards posted to Algeria.

 She accompanied him, yet at eighteen years of age, due to a worsening health, Eliza returned to Paris to live with her mother in the Strafford household. Courtesy of a few fortuitous introductions, she later entered the elite circle surrounding Princess Mathilde Bonaparte and quickly set herself up as a courtesan.

She was described as possessing a Junoesque figure, golden blonde hair and a provocative smile. It was perhaps those very qualities that appealed to a visiting South American a year after her return to France. It was 1854 when Eliza Lynch met Francisco Solano L?pez, son of Carlos Antonio L?pez, president of Paraguay, one the wealthiest small southern nations in continental America.

The young general L?pez, in training with the Napoleonic army, kept his country's interests above all as fundamental reasons for his European journey. However, Lynch and L?pez would begin a relationship which led her to return with him during that same year to Paraguay

Once in Paraguay, Eliza Lynch became L?pez's partner, bearing him six children in total.She is considered by some to be the reason Lopez was so ambitious. However, in a book she wrote in 1876 while in Buenos Aires titled "Exposici?n. Protesta que hace Elisa A. Lynch" (Exposition. Protest made by Elisa A. Lynch) she states that she had actually no knowledge of and didn't meddle in political affairs, rather dedicating her time during the war to helping the wounded and the innumerable families which followed L?pez wherever he went.

In the last days After the Brazilian forces killed L?pez, they headed towards the civilians in order to capture them. L?pez and Lynch's eldest son Juan Francisco, who had been promoted to Colonel during the war and was 15 years old, was with her.

 The Brazilian officers told him to surrender, and upon replying "Un coronel Paraguayo nunca se rinde" (A Paraguayan Colonel never surrenders) he was shot and killed by the allied soldiers.

At this, Lynch, after jumping and covering her son's body, exclaimed "Esta es la civilizacion que han prometido?" (Is this the civilization you have promised?) (making a reference to the allies claim that they intended to free Paraguay from a tyrant and deliver freedom and civilization to the nation). She then buried both L?pez and her son with her bare hands before being taken as prisoner.

Eliza Lynch died in obscurity in Paris on 27 July 1886. Over one hundred years later, her body was exhumed and brought back to Paraguay where the dictator General Alfredo Stroessner proclaimed her a national heroine. Her remains are now located in the national cementery "Cementerio de la Recoleta".

Today in the country she is regarded as a national Heroine. It is amazing that history can distort the image of some one?

Murderess or innocent victim, it depends on your view point?

Here is another picture alleged to have been taken of Eliza Lynch at 18. However I think it is actually a photograph of one of her daughters. About 4 of them survived and lived in France. There are many every day descendants today who are related to the Mad dictator of Paraguay.

Many have no idea of their connection to that time and place in history. Or of a family connection to a lost treasure some where in Paraguay.

Kind of makes you think what skeletons do we have in our family history?



Hardluck

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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2010, 07:54:33 pm »
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interest8ing stuff! sounds spooky

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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2010, 02:29:34 am »
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Hello All

willi960  I can imagine it would be very unsettling to discover ones ancestor was a tyrant who was responsible for the deaths of 400000 people. A bit like waking up one morning and discovering your a direct descendant of Hitler.

However there is an old saying "You cannot be held accountable for the sins of your fathers" A person today may be a very different person to his ancestor many generations ago.

Hardluck

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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2011, 06:31:57 am »
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Solano L?pez purchased large quantities of arms and military supplies, together with several steamers, and organized a project for building a railroad and establishing a French colony in Paraguay. He became infatuated with the empire of Napoleon III.


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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2011, 07:01:04 am »
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Hello bennet

Yes he was heavily influenced by what he saw in France . He built up him armed forces well beyond the  capacity of the small country he ruled. If you read into his life he had in some respects a sheltered unnatural upbringing. Living in an artificial world under the rule of his father dictator.

You can still see this classic megalomania today. The leader of North Korea is a prime example.

hardluck

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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2011, 02:02:38 pm »
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Lynch and her daughter are really very beautiful women. Not like the pictures you see of American women during this era. Think of Mary Todd Lincoln.

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