Bolivia History 101: Bolivia owes its freedom and independence to Medinaceli

Victor Hugo Medinaceli writes for El Diario:

Battle of Tumusla, April 1, 1825

Bolivia owes its freedom and independence to Medinaceli

2013-04-01 08.04.04 amThe battle of Tumusla, performed on April 1, 1825, is a consequence of the Declaration of war made by the potosino Colonel Carlos Medinaceli Lizarazu to Spanish General Pedro Antonio Olañeta, three months before April, January 9, 1825, in a letter that directs [Medinaceli] from Talina (Potosí), where he said verbatim: “… If. S. S. enters reason and rectify his conduct as not trying to resist more to the emancipation of all parties and the Charcas provinces, there will be nothing and you must not fear, but if you insist on your ignorance of Ayacucho (capitulation) and freedom, even betraying the liberators and the homeland, you prepare for the final war”.

This letter was sent with Casimiro Olañeta, nephew of the General, to both Marshal Sucre and Gral. Olañeta, who were in Puno (Peru) and La Paz (Bolivia), respectively.

In another part of the letter, Medinaceli reminds Olañeta: “as charquino and Patriot I am, mostly born in this land of Chichas and Charcas (Gral. Medinaceli was born in Tuctapari, close to Otavi, Linares province of Potosí, on November 4, 1779 and died in La Paz on February 28, 1841), on February 1st, I will proclaim in the capital of Chichas, in Cotagaita, the total independence of this nation, from the Spanish Crown and the former Viceroyalties, republics today of the provinces of the Río de La Plata and the Peru “.

But as the Gral. Olañeta did not listen to the warnings of Colonel Medinaceli, this one began to prepare his army in the fields, hills and rivers of Talina, Chequelti, Cotagaita, Escara and Tumusla with the determined participation of the indigenous of the “nation of the Chichas”, the famous “cuicos” yurumeños, calcheños, vichacleños, toropalqueños, viticheños, etc., to become the chosen day of Easter, on April 1, 1825, the enlisted and prepared with the patriot army and commanded by Colonel Medinaceli from early hours of that day were located strategically in the hills and adjacent rivers to Tumusla.

Meanwhile, the army of Olañeta coming from Potosi and arriving to Vitichi began to descend, the tragic day of April 1, to the banks of the river Tumusla. Olañeta wanted to punish the defection of his former ally with a defeat.

The battle began at 3 in the afternoon and the Spanish military who wanted to give example of bravery to his soldiers, mounted his horse and irate, sword in hand, fighting together with his officers and soldiers against the enemy. The river is dyed red on the fight melee: while from the surrounding hills came the shooting of cannons, rifles, slingshots and arrows that left dead and wounded everywhere. In the thick of the fight. the Gral. Olañeta falls from his horse wounded, after several hours of fighting, at the time where the battle stops and the survivors of his decimated army surrender and declared the winning army of Medinaceli. The soldiers and officers of Olañeta and Barbarucho Valdes, who also surrendered in Chaquelti, in “crying and submission” accept the capitulation. After the battle at 7 in the evening, the winner is left with all the spoils of war, including the printing press and other goods. Olañeta is imprisoned and near midnight accepted the capitulation of Tumusla. Olañeta died on April 2, 1825, and his remains are buried in Patirana Tumusla.

The war report was sent to the Marshal Sucre, who was in Potosí the same day, the 2nd. He received on day 3 (Saturday) from the hands of Mayor Villegas… (We refer the reader to read the book. “Memories of the heroic time” of José Ma. Rey de Castro who was Secretary of Marshal Sucre).

In the bloody battle of Tumusla, two armies were present: the Patriot commanded by the Colonel Carlos Medinaceli Lizarazu, with 1,326 personnel, chiefs, officers and soldiers. The realist, 1,732 troops, heads, officers and soldiers, commanded by Gral. Pedro Antonio Olañeta.

The Royalist army had 509 dead and 734 wounding. The patriot army had 156 dead and 270 injured. Including the Gral. Olañeta who died on April 2, 1825.

Numerical detail of soldiers, dead and wounded on both sides demonstrates the untruths and misrepresentations that have been written about this battle. In a total irresponsibility, the pseudo-historians, from Manuel Ma. Urcullo, commissioned by his friend Casimiro Olañeta wrote his “Notes for the history of the revolution of the Altoperu”, indicating that there was a single dead in that battle: Olañeta. For Mesa Gisbert, the battle “facilitated the penetration of Colombian troops to all the Alto Peru, without a single shot fired”. To historians like Sotomayor Valdés and Enrique Finot, the insurrection of Medinaceli was made on April 2, etc. Alcides Arguedas, Augusto Guzmán and other national and foreign historians speak that in the battle of Tumusla, the only involved were 300 troops in the patriot army and 700 in the Royalist Army.

For the American historian Charles Arnade, the battle of Tumusla “still remains in the mystery” and distorts the truth when speaks of the region of Tumusla and says that it is “frozen” and for his assertions of the battle is based on the unfortunate views of Urcullo…

Finally, after the victory of Tumusla which effectively gave freedom and independence to Bolivia and Latin America, the only “heroes” and beneficiaries were the members of the lodge “two faces”: Casimiro Olañeta, Urcullo, Uzin, Serrano, Rodriguez Calvimonte, Antequera, Urdininea, Alvarado. To which also belonged, say some evil tongues: Sucre, Arenales, Sanchez Velasco and other politicians of the time; and the “borrowed heroes”, such as the Cochabamba historian, Franz Gustavo Morales, Bolívar, Sucre, Burdett O´Connor, Braun; that mutually helped in their common errors, defections, and stagehand; while the real hero of the battle of Tumusla was banished as Governor to Cotagaita, without been invited to the tributes’ parties, decorations, dances, toast, ceremonies which enjoyed, the “two faces” lodge [two-face lodge] and the “borrowed heroes”. [probably uses the term “borrowed” as they were foreigners who were included as heroes, for political purposes, says the writer of this article]

The battles of Junín and Ayacucho, not freed Bolivia. they made it to the Peru. “Bolivia on the fact itself and concrete”, says the latest historian Marcos Beltrán Avila in his book: “The Bolivarista taboo”, should not owe its freedom to any auxiliary army, nor from the North Peru – Colombian, neither from southern Argentine.

The great Colombia and the Peru had no involvement in the country. Bolivia did not request a favor from any State for its independence”.

Interesting view and important to find out more so that our self-steem can be boosted!

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