Ecuador's National Hero

Antonio José de Sucre (1795–1830) accomplished much during his short life. He enlisted in the independence struggle against Spain at age 16, and in a few short years would prove himself to be one of the 19th century's most brilliant military minds. Sucre caught the eye of South American liberator Simón Bolívar and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming one of the leader's generals and confidants by age 24.

After independence, Sucre served as president of Bolivia and Peru, as well as of Colombia's congress. The general, who shone on the battlefield, intensely disliked the rough-and-tumble of post-liberation politics, and resigned his post in Colombia to return to his beloved Quito. Underlings, jealous of Sucre's influence with Bolívar, assassinated Sucre on his journey home. He was interred in Quito's cathedral. The capital's Mariscal Sucre airport is named for him. Before 2000, Ecuador's pre-dollarization currency was called the sucre. The name of the Mariscal district, Quito's consummate tourist hangout, also refers to the marshal.

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