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Biography of Rafael Alvarado Manzano

He was born in Tegucigalpa (1836) and died in 1923. He was a lawyer who graduated from the National University in 1862; the following year he was appointed Secretary of that educational institution. From 1876 to 1880, he served as a Judge of First Instance in the Department of Tegucigalpa, as well as a Deputy and Magistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice between 1880 and 1883.

When Marco Aurelio Soto handed over the Presidency in 1883, he joined the Council of Ministers. During the Administration of Luis Bográn (1883-1891), he served as Minister of Justice, Public Instruction, and War. From 1882 to 1888, he was the Vice-Rector of the University and assumed the Rectorship in January 1892, a position he held until 1900.

In 1905 and 1906, he was the Dean of the Faculty of Jurisprudence. Alongside Carlos Alberto Uclés and Trinidad Ferrari, he drafted the Law on the Organization and Powers of the Courts, as well as the Law on Governors and Municipalities. In 1906, he was part of the Commission that drafted the codification that is still largely in effect today. He was a professor for over forty years at all levels of education. In 1913, Congress declared him a Meritorious Member of the Central University.

Esteban Guardiola said of him: “He had a great fondness for the study of Philosophy and acquired true mastery in the various treaties that comprise this important subject. He had an in-depth knowledge of all schools and systems and professed the most advanced theories… he wrote little… apart from the luminous judgments he drafted as a Judge or Magistrate in the Courts, we can mention some speeches, discourses, and memoirs, as well as his masterful commentaries on the National Civil Code… he protected the youth, facilitating their studies and resolving their requests favorably.”

According to Paulino Valladares, “his reputation as a lawyer is universally recognized and praised. Although not very extensive in the development of theories, he kept the student tied to the text… an attentive and reserved observer, he is well acquainted with the national psychology and watches events unfold with the serenity of someone who has been witnessing Honduras repeating itself for sixty years on the historical page.”