Boquerón Battle Victory Day in Paraguay in 2020

Boquerón Battle Victory Day in Paraguay in 2020
Image via Office Holidays
  How long until Boquerón Battle Victory Day?
This holiday next takes place in 312 days.
  Dates of Boquerón Battle Victory Day in Paraguay
2021 Paraguay Wed, Sep 29 National Holiday
2020 Paraguay Tue, Sep 29 National Holiday
2019 Paraguay Sun, Sep 29 National Holiday
2018 Paraguay Sat, Sep 29 National Holiday
2017 Paraguay Mon, Oct 2 National Holiday
  Summary
The Battle of Boquerón was fought in September 1932 and was the first major battle of the Chaco War

When is Boquerón Battle Victory Day?

Boquerón Battle Victory Day is a public holiday in Paraguay observed on September 29th each year.

This holiday commemorates the first battle of the Chaco War, which ended on this day in 1932.

History of Boquerón Battle Victory Day

The Gran Chaco or Chaco Boreal is a large lowland plain that today is part of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina.

From the late nineteenth century, there had been simmering tensions between Paraguay and Bolivia over their control of the area, as the land was of key strategic interest to both countries. It's not unrelated that Paraguay and Bolivia are the only two landlocked countries in South America.

The situation wasn't helped when speculation arose that the region could hold significant deposits of oil. This led to major oil companies taking sides, with Royal Dutch Shell backing Paraguay and Standard Oil supporting Bolivia.

All's fair in business and war

The Chaco War has gained some notoriety for the involvement of Shell and Standard Oil as it may seem odd that such businesses would get involved in national disputes. However when we remember the manipulation of most of South-East Asia by the various East India companies of the 17th century and the exploits of William Walker in Central America, unfortunately, the oil companies were just adding to an inglorious history of private enterprise inflaming disputes in smaller nations.

The Chaco War began on September 7th 1932 when Paraguayan forces made an assault on the Bolivian outpost of Fortín Boquerón in attempt to gain a tactical advantage by catching the Bolivians off guard.

The assault turned into a siege and with both sides showing a naivety in the mechanics of siege warfare, it took 22 days for Fortín Boquerón to fall.

Though this early victory can be chalked up to Paraguay, the war would rage for almost three years, proving ruinous for both countries' economies and exacting a terrible toll in terms of casualties, before a ceasefire was negotiated in June 1935.

It wasn't until 2009 that Bolivian President Evo Morales and Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo signed an agreement settling the border dispute that led to the Chaco War.

It is unusual for a country to celebrate a public holiday commemorating a recent military victory over a now-friendly neighbour and even less common to have two holidays on the topic, as Paraguay also marks the end of the Chaco War with another public holiday in June.

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