Children’s Day in Paraguay has its roots in the War of the Triple Alliance (1864-1870), the most devastating war ever fought in South America. It was fought between Paraguay (on one side) and Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay (on the other).
Needless to say, Paraguay didn’t win. In fact, it lost half its population during the war—including nearly all its fighting-age men—as well as 60,000 square miles of territory to Brazil and Argentina. (Latin America’s Wars: the Age of the Caudillo (1791-1899) Robert Scheina)
Children’s Day recalls the anniversary of the one of the last battles of the war in 1869, the Battle of Acosta Nu. Having already lost most of his army, Paraguayan dictator Francisco Lopez used younger and younger recruits. The 6,000 strong force in August of that year was largely made out of children. On August 16, the small retreating army was overtaken by a force of 20,000 men from Brazil and Argentina. Within eight hours, over 2000 Paraguayans lay dead.
Paraguayans say the additional tragedy was that the war was already over at that point, but that the Brazilian government refused to stop until Lopez was captured.
The War of the Triple Alliance remains one of the darkest chapters in South American history.
One Reply to “Children’s Day – Paraguay”
You should inform yourself better before you write so many stupidities, first, Lopez, never order to put children to fight, they were whole families who marched behind the bulk of the troops, when the Allied armies arrived they had no other choice but to fight, because they knew that anyway they were going to kill, rape, or torture, because that’s exactly what they did four days ago after the battle of Piribebuy.
Second, you know how I finish the battle?, well, I end with the rape and murder of all women, the slaughter of all wounded and in the end they set fire to the battlefield, so no one could survive so this is the real story, people always said that history is written by the winners and they always come in the way of them, sometimes because they have a lot of shame to tell the truth…