Vicente Martinez

Guatemalan Senator Vicente Martinez.

The Martinez Coup was an 1870 coup d'etat backed by Kramer Associates that resulted in the ouster of Guatemalan President Miguel Rubio by Senator Vicente Martinez.

In September 1869, newly-elected President Omar Kinkaid opened negotiations with Rubio over a canal in Guatemala. Kinkaid and Kramer Associates President Bernard Kramer were dismayed to learn that Rubio had already granted rights to a canal to a consortium backed by the German government. While Kinkaid attempted to negotiate with Rubio, Kramer contacted Senator Martinez, an opponent of the Rubio regime, and promised to back him in a coup d'etat against Rubio. Martinez agreed, and over the next five months was provided with money, provisions, and weapons by Kramer. Martinez launched his coup on Wednesday, March 9, 1870, and by March 13 Rubio was forced to flee Guatemala City. Martinez declared himself provisional president of Guatemala, and on March 16 the Mexican government recognized Martinez' government. Martinez canceled Rubio's contract with the German consortium, and on April 20 signed over rights to build a canal to Kramer Associates.

Sobel's source for the Martinez Coup is Stanley Tulin's He Straddled the Continents: The Life of Bernard Kramer (London, 1960).

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