Juan Bautista Rivarola Matto

Juan Bautista Rivarola Matto (1933 – October 14, 1999) was a Paraguayan journalist, narrator, essayist and playwright who made a great contribution to the culture is spite of living in the times of the dictatorial government in Paraguay, time in which there was hardly any activity related to the literature.

Juan Bautista Rivarola Matto
Juan Bautista Rivarola Matto

DiedOctober 14, 1991
Known forJournalist, Dramatist
Notable work
"San Lamuerte (Saint Death)"
"Diagonal de Sangre (Diagonal of Blood)"
AwardsGabriel Casaccia Award


Childhood and youth

He was born in Asunción, on November 12, 1933 in the time of the Chaco War. He was the son of Octaviano Rivarola Bogarín and his wife, Victorina Matto. He was member of a family of former settlers of Paraguay, very attached to the traditions of the country, which he loved immensely.

First steps

He was a student of Juan Pedro Escalada and studied in the Colegio Seminario de San Carlos (San Carlos's Seminary School). He was a member of the armed groups that fought against the dictatorial government of General Alfredo Stroessner in the 1960s.

He studied Law and Philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires and dedicated a great part of his life to scholarship, focusing in history.

Since childhood he was always involved in riots and revolutions. When he was 13 years old there was a civil war in 1947, in which he took part on behalf of the revolutionaries. Like many of his generation, he participated in the political activity of the country, and had to live in exile for more than two decades. He returned to Paraguay in 1979 and worked in journalism until he died in 1992.


In 1979 he returned to Paraguay to stay and started working as a journalist for the Newspaper HOY. In 1980 he co-founded Ediciones NAPA (NAPA Editions) with Alvaro Ayala, the firm closed after four years due to the economic problems in the country. It published forty-two Paraguayan books, opening the gates for Paraguayan authors. He has also written articles and editorials for the Newspaper ABC Color, traveled on several occasions to Europe, where he studied and attended conferences.


Some of his published work:

  • De cuando Carai Rey jugó a las escondidas (When Carai Rey played hide and seek)
  • Diagonal De Sangre (Diagonal of Blood), subtitled "The history and its alternatives in the War of Paraguay". This work tried to explore the socio-economical, ideological and political scenario in which the War against the Triple Alliance developed (1864–1870).
  • San Lamuerte – 1986 (Saint Lamuerte)
  • El Santo de Guatambú (The Saint of Guatambú)
  • Yvypóra – 1970 (From Guaraní language the direct translation is ghost of the earth)
  • La isla sin mar
  • Bandera sobre las tumbas (Flags over the tombs)
  • El Niño Santo (The child Saint)
  • Vidas y muerte de Chirito Aldama (Lives and death of Chirito Aldama)
  • La abuela del bosque (The grandmother of the forest)
  • Yvypóra, Diagonal de


  • San Lamuerte – 1986 was awarded with the Gabriel Casaccia Award.
  • El Niño Santo won 1st Prize V Centenary in 1991.
  • Vidas y Muerte de Chirito Aldama won 2nd Prize V Centenary in 1991.

The later two were awarded ten days after his death and published later in 1994.

Last years

He died in Asunción, on October 14, 1991.


External links


Information as of: 09.08.2021 08:14:35 CEST

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