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*On this date in 1864, the War of the Triple Alliance began. Also known as the Paraguayan War, it was a South American war fought between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, the Empire of Brazil, and Uruguay.
A conflict of race and class, it was the deadliest and bloodiest inter-state war in Latin America's history. It particularly devastated Paraguay, which suffered catastrophic losses in population and was forced to cede disputed territory to Argentina and Brazil. The war began because of a conflict between Paraguay and Brazil caused by the Uruguayan War. Argentina and Uruguay entered the war against Paraguay in 1865, and it then became known as the "War of the Triple Alliance". The war ended with the total defeat of Paraguay.
After it was defeated in conventional warfare, Paraguay conducted a drawn-out guerrilla resistance, a disastrous strategy that resulted in the further destruction of the Paraguayan military and much of the civilian population through battle casualties, hunger, and disease. The guerrilla war lasted 14 months until President Francisco Solano López was killed in action by Brazilian forces in the Battle of Cerro Corá on March 1, 1870. Argentine and Brazilian troops occupied Paraguay until 1876.