Daily Archives: June 21, 2014

Bolivia History 101: Battles of the Bolivian-Peruvian Confederation: the Iruya victory

From June 11, 1928, Luis Crespo wrote for El Diario:

Battles of the Bolivian-Peruvian Confederation: the Iruya victory


Luis S CrespoThe establishment of the Peru Bolivian Confederation, so lucky conducted by General Andrés de Santa Cruz, could never be regarded with indifference by the neighboring countries, especially Chile and Argentina.

The declaration of war made by the Cabinet of Santa Cruz, followed by Juan Manuel Rosas, the dictator of Buenos Aires. On May 19, 1837 he issued a decree manifesto, declaring that Argentina was at war with Bolivia and the Confederation.

In this manifesto was exposed, as grounds for the declaration, the protection granted by Bolivia to the Argentine emigrants, disaffected by Rosas; the pass denial to the Argentina delegation, ​​who came in 1938 by Pedro Feliciano de Cavia; the participation attributed to the President of Bolivia in the projected revolution against Salta Governor La Torre; the hosting that the Bolivian government did to the Minister of the Eastern Band, who brought the mission to organize a plan with General Santa Cruz to unhinge the Argentina Confederation; the General Lopez raid with Bolivian troops to Tucuman; the outrages attributed to Campero, Anzoategui and other individuals supporting a lawsuit in the courts of Salta on the ownership of the Marquis of Yavi; the conspiracy by Figueroa, Plaza and other Argentines who advocated the unitarisation, which were assembled in Bolivia; the cancelation of the Bolivian mail services to Argentine provinces; finally unveiled its claims: the domain of the province of Tarija.


Given this declaration of war, the government of Bolivia, organized an army under General Philip Otto Braun, who collaborated by the chiefs Agreda, Raña and O’Connor began campaigning, installing his headquarters in the town of Tupiza.

The government of Buenos Aires, had also organized their forces in a number, under the command of General Alejandro Heredia.



On September 18, 1837 the encounter was held between the two forces at the point of Santa Barbara, the Quebrada de Humahuaca. Upon the first shots of the Bolivian advanced troops, Argentine responded with others, and within minutes left the hill and made their escape to Tucuman.

Bolivian forces then interned until Chorrillos, located about 80 leagues from the Bolivian border.

Viewing General Braun that the Argentines showed no signs and convinced that the war was over, backed up with his forces near the border, staying at Yavi, where he remained in a passive attitude during the first four months of 1838.


In April this year [1838?], General Santa Cruz went south, advancing to Moraya, distant nine leagues from the border, and believing as Braun that the war with Argentina was over, issued the protectoral decree on the 18th of the same month, declaring completed the southern campaign, and ordering the organized volunteers from Tarija and Chichas, were dissolved. After taking some steps to make peace in the south, Santa Cruz returned to the Republic going to Cochabamba.


In late May 1838, General Braun was in the village of Tupiza with the little strength he had left, after the discharge of volunteers, under the command of the Protector, when he received notice that an Argentina division composed of 900 men, under General Gregorio Paz, had surprised the Bolivian garrison at Acambuco, May 22, and that after this feat continued his march on the border of Tarija.


A Bolivian garrison of 260 men under Colonel Timoteo Raña, was in Iruya, Argentinian territory. On June 11 at 5 in the morning, this force was attacked by an Argentina division of 800 men, commanded by the commander in chief Alejandro Heredia. The Bolivian ran to arms, and after 9 hours of fierce fighting, the Argentines were completely defeated …

Source: EL DIARIO, June 11, 1928.