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Juan Guillermo Iribarren

IRIBARREN, Juan Guillermo (e-re-bar'-ren), Venezuelan soldier, born in Barquisimeto, 25 March, 1797; died in Caracas, 28 April, 1827. In 1810 he was sent to the Seminary of the Trinity in Caracas, but in 1814, desiring to take part in the struggle for independence, ran away from school, and after many privations presented himself to General Paez, who enrolled him in his force. He made his first campaign under General Urdaneta, and formed part of the troop that, under Jose Maria Rodriguez, executed the march from San Carlos in relief of Valencia. After the victory of Arichuana, Paez promoted him lieutenant, and after that of Yagual, in 1816, captain. After the battle of Mucuritas in January, 1817, he was promoted major. In 1817, at the head of 500 lancers, he surprised and totally routed 1,500 Spaniards who were intrenched in a strong position at Banco Largo, and Paez ordered a special gold medal to be struck for Iribarren, with the inscription "For marvellous intrepidity." This was the only medal of that class that was granted during the war of independence. With the Venezuelan prisoners that he had taken from the Spaniards, Iribarren formed a regiment of hussars, which he called Bravos de Paez, and, after promotion to lieutenant-colonel and colonel, compelled Morillo to evacuate Calabozo in February, 1818. He took part in the campaign of that year, and after the battle of Cojedes, in October, was appointed by Bolivar a member of the order of Libertadores, receiving the grand cross of that order in 1819 after the battle of Queseras del Medio. After the battle of Carabobo he was detached for the pursuit of small bodies of the enemy, and soon pacified the country. In 1824. as military commander of Calabozo, he pursued with only two men a body of eighty-two mutinous soldiers, killing the captain and a private, when the rest of the rebels surrendered to him. In March, 1827, he was promoted brigadier-general.

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