Castilla, Ramón (rämōnˈ kästēˈyä) [key], 1797–1867, president of Peru (1845–51, 1855–62). He fought under Antonio José de Sucre in the revolution against Spain (1821–24) in Peru and took part in the civil wars that followed. An army general, energetic and resolute, he twice eliminated his rivals by armed force to become president. He developed the guano, saltpeter, and nitrate industries, helped to reorganize finances, abolished slavery in Peru, and promulgated (1860) a new constitution that became the basis of future Peruvian government.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.