Luis Cordero Crespo

Luis Benjamín Cordero y Crespo
Luis cordero crespo.jpg
14th President of Ecuador
In office
July 1, 1892 – April 16, 1895
Vice PresidentPablo Herrera
Vicente Lucio Salazar
Preceded byAntonio Flores Jijón
Succeeded byVicente Lucio Salazar
President of the Provisional Government of Quito
In office
February 14, 1883 – July 9, 1883
Preceded byJosé María Sarasti
Succeeded byRafael Pérez Pareja
Member of the Provisional Government of Quito
In office
February 14, 1883 – October 11, 1883
Personal details
Born(1833-04-06)April 6, 1833
Déleg, Cañar, Ecuador
DiedJanuary 30, 1912(1912-01-30) (aged 78)
Cuenca, Ecuador
Political partyProgresistas
Jesús Dávila Heredia
(m. 1867; died 1891)

Josefina Espinosa Astorga
(m. 1896; died 1900)

Luis Benjamín Cordero y Crespo (6 April 1833 – 30 January 1912) was President of Ecuador 1 July 1892 to 16 April 1895.

Cordero was born April 6, 1833 in the Cañar province of Ecuador to parents Gregorio Cordero and Josefa Crespo. Cordero studied at the Seminary High School in Cuenca, and later the Central University of Ecuador in Quito. In 1865 he became a lawyer, arguing cases before the Supreme Court of Cuenca. After his career in law, Cordero began publishing poetry and in 1892 published the first Quicha-Spanish dictionary.

Political career

Luis Cordero was also a politician, serving as a member of the Progresistas, a liberal Catholic political party, and was a member of the provisional governing junta which led the Progresistas to power in 1883. He was President of the Senate in 1885.

In 1892 Cordero became president of Ecuador. Despite being a popular leader, Luis Cordero was forced to leave office following an international political scandal known as La venta de la bandera, or the sale of the flag. During the First Sino-Japanese war, the Ecuadorian ambassador to Chile sold weapons to Japan on behalf of Chilean businessmen, despite Chile's declared neutrality. The shipment was detained while sporting the Ecuadorian flag to cover for Chile's involvement, so the public blamed Cordero who, after a short armed conflict, was forced to resign. Former president and then-Governor of Guayas province, José María Plácido Caamaño, was discovered to be involved in the affair, so he was forced into exile where he died. In 1898 the Ecuadorian Supreme Court dropped all charges against Cordero after the Ecuadorian ambassador's involvement came to light.

Luis Cordero wrote poems in Spanish and Kichwa and published the first Kichwa-Spanish-Kichwa dictionary in Ecuador in 1892.