Leoncio Prado was born in Huanuco on August 24, 1853 and entering the College of Lima Guadeloupe at the age of 9 years. He was the son of General Mariano Ignacio Prado (president of Peru in the periods 1865-1868 and 1876-1879) and Mary Avelina Gutierrez.
At the age of twelve, Leoncio Prado was already out in the Lanceros Regiment of the Union. For thirteen years he left the College Guadeloupe to fight against the Spaniards in the squad that sailed to the south of Chile and participated in the fighting Abtao, was promoted to Guardiamarina.
Then participated in the battle of May 2, 1866 and was in Callao amounts to the degree of Ensign. For sixteen years explored the great waterways of the jungle alongside men like Tucker, and Werthermann Tabarra.
At age 21 is going to Cuba to participate in the struggle for independence of the Caribbean country, becomes a soldier of the so-called war of the decade. It was then under the command of Maximo Gomez and beside heads like Antonio Maceo and Jose Guillermo Moncada and others in the front of the East.
In November 1876, almost without weapons or ammunition Leoncio Prado and another ten men captured steam Spanish "Moctezuma," izaron the Cuban flag and rebautizaron the boat with the name "Lawns." Two months after the Bay of Bragman, Nicaragua, "Cespedes is harassed by the enemy, when cornered was burned before the Spaniards could recapturarlo. Leoncio Prado and his colleagues are interned by scarce land hostile and finally found shelter in the territory of Honduras. It reaches the rank of colonel.
The concern of Leoncio Prado led him to attempt an expedition on the Philippines, to travel in Europe and preach, back to the United States again in favor of Cuba. When Leoncio Prado had 26 years, it comes to war with Chile and the young officer returns to Peru to defend their homeland.
The Pacific War
When Leoncio Prado had 26 years, it comes to war with Chile and the young officer returns to Peru to defend their homeland. Served in the Navy and then in the army, as part of the guerrillas of Tacna. He also went to the battle of the Alliance High, where his brother dies Grotius Prado.
In Tarata was taken prisoner and sent to Chile where he spent the most painful stage of their lives. With the promise that it would refrain from further fighting, was released and returned to Peru.
Despite its promise, could further his love for the motherland to be desangraba it escapes Lima organizes Huanuco where he performed in nine guerrillas and the army of Caceres fighting as head of the General Staff of the Army Center next to the famous "breñeros."
The "Campaign of Brena" was a war of attrition conducted in the Peruvian highlands by irregular forces, consisting of peasants and indigenous montoneros poorly armed, but very brave and determined, which were in charge of major military action which lasted for April 1881 until September 1883.
Of those men wrote a Chilean author: "… toured relentlessly or break huge distances, passing little snow-covered ridges, crossing rivers, forests and primitive surpassing dizzying gorges. Neither ice ridges, or the lack of food and water , or the shortage of ammunition and transportation for its troops, nor descalabros suffered, nothing was enough to break his will of steel, or break their physical forces or break their energy. "
However disasters suffered in the Pacific War, breñeros, commanded by General Andres Avelino Caceres, resisted and defeated the Chileans in the rangelands.
On July 10, 1883, the Battle of Huamachuco begins favouring the Peruvian forces, however, soon be just ammunition and breñeros suffered its worst defeat.
The Peruvians lost in the fight over half of its personnel, including most of its commanders and officers. Some sources estimated at a thousand dead and wounded.
General Caceres achieves flee and the continued struggle of the resistance Peruvian, but Colonel Leoncio Prado, seriously injured in the leg, was captured a few days later.
Colonel Chilean Alejandro Gorostiaga tarnished the triumph cleanly obtained by his troops in battle and ordered the execution of prisoners, including the wounded. According to their arguments, the members of the resistance Peruvian, who fought in Huamachuco, were not military but "guerrillas" who do not deserve the treatment accorded to regular combatants. The biggest Chilean Anibal Fuenzalida recounted the historian Nicanor Molinare when interrogated Leoncio Prado why had breached its promise to return to fight, Prado said "in a war of invasion and conquest as that in the case of Chile to defend to the Fatherland, could and should strive for the floor and miss it. "
According to the official Fuenzalida, Leoncio Prado said had actually given his word when he was imprisoned in June 1880 in Tarata, however "I have beaten many times after; defending Peru and simply bear the consequences. You in my place, with the enemy in the house, would do likewise. healthy and if I put in freedom and we must fight again, I will do because that is my duty soldier and Peruvian. "
"What man so sympathetic, as illustrated and appealing (he added, for its part Fuenzalida); loved talking to him; around knew; owned English and French as well as the Spanish, and you could talk with him and artillery deal issues of war because it was thoroughly educated man, study and very well known. "
Captain Rafael Benavente did, for his part, the story of the moments that preceded the shooting and also this scene. When he reported what was going to be their fate, Leoncio Prado said that he was entitled to die in the square and with the honors due to his rank because he was colonel and belonged to Peru's regular army, but his request was not heeded and he indicated that it would be shot in his own room.
Then asked for a pen and wrote the following letter: "Huamachuco, July 15, 1883. Mr Mariano Ignacio Prado. Colombia. Queridísmo father, I am a prisoner and wounded today at 8:30 I have to be executed for the crime of having defended my homeland. Lo salutes his son who does not forget Leoncio Prado. "
Before his execution, Leoncio Prado asked to take a cup of coffee. Then, when two soldiers came to be called for increased its number two tirasen him to the head and two to the heart. Being fulfilled this order gave brief instructions to the troops on the trajectory of his shots and added fire when they could have made a signal with the spoon and pegase three strikes in the cachuchito tin in which it had been eating.
It was immediately dismissed from the Chilean officers, hugged, told them: "Goodbye companions." The room was small. At the head at the foot of the bed were placed four shooters and behind them were the three officers present. Colonel Leoncio Prado complied with the orders given for download. "Everybody cried (Benavente said) all but Pradito."
The greatness of this hero
The feats of the heroes of the wars sing and extol ours, the silent enemy or refuses or declines to submit stories sometimes treacherously prosaic that defile or toss a crude poetry in them housed.
However, everything that happened in the final moments of Leoncio Prado is known only by news emanating from sources in Chile. There was not a Peruvian this in his last two days on his shooting.
On July 15, 1883, was cut short the life of a bright young life and fruitful action and thought, a hero of Peru and American independence, one of the most important heroes of our nationhood. Leoncio Prado had not met even 30 years.