Justo Rufino Barrios, Guatemalan president from 1873 to 1885, urged in 1882 that the old federation be revived; in 1885 he declared himself its ruler and marched his army into El Salvador, where he was defeated and killed at the Battle of Chalchuapa (April 2).
He was an ardent exponent of a Central American union, and, when political means failed to produce results, he invaded El Salvador and lost his life at the Battle of Chalchuapa (1885) in an attempt to accomplish his goal.
Barrios, Justo Rufino [b. 1835, San Lorenzo, Guatemala; d. April 2, 1885, Chalchuapa, El Salvador] president of Guatemala from 1873 who carried out liberal domestic policies by dictatorial means and persistently advocated Central American unity, to be imposed by force if diplomacy proved inadequate.
Barrios intervened repeatedly in the affairs of the other Central American republics in an effort to restore the five-nation federation that had collapsed in 1838. When his political persuasion failed, he invaded neighbouring El Salvador and was killed in battle.