Bolivian History 101: Marshal Andres de Santa Cruz

Jose Alberto Diez de Medina writes in El Diario:

Marshal Andres de Santa Cruz

Jose Alberto Diez de MedinaOne of the most representative of the liberation wars in Latin America figures, is the Gral. Andrew de Santa Cruz and Calahumana, son of a Spanish nobleman, Don Jose and Santa Cruz Villavicencio and daughter of the Chief of Huarina, Juana Basilia Calahumana.

The Marshal Santa Cruz was born in Huarina, province Omasuyos of the department of La Paz on December 5, 1792; his first studies with the Franciscans in the city of La Paz, then went to the city of Cusco. [so, chances are he never thought of Peru and Bolivia as separate countries… indeed we have so many things in common, we are like Germany and Austria.]

He began his military career by entering the royalist forces under General. José Manuel de Goyeneche. Thanks to the influence of his father, was recognized the rank of Captain, later fighting under the command of General. Spanish Pezuel.

Understanding and acknowledging that the royalist cause would eventually succumb, let alone him being American native that was due to the independence of America, surrendered voluntarily to the Mayor Lavalle, a “sanmartinians” forces officer [army under Gral. San Martin], offering his services; Gral. San Martin had recognized his rank, likening it to the liberating forces.

Near the Battle of Pichincha, General Sucre in knowledge of the mighty in strength of the royal army, he asked for help to General San Martin, who immediately decided to send sanmartinians forces under General Alvarez de Arenales, who declined this command , Colonel Andres de Santa Cruz, who was appointed Chief of Staff, was promoted to brigadier general by General Sucre was sent; also he fought in Junín as Chief of Staff.

Closely linked to the Liberator, was entrusted with the command of 4,000 men to arrest Royalist General Jerome Valdez in their advance to Lima, the clash was held in Zepita, and in defeat of the army of Valdez, Santa Cruz made a disastrous retreat, losing most of the equipment and troops, however being named Marshal of Zepita.

After Ayacucho, and the deplorable condition of chaos that lived the Republic of Peru, he was appointed President of the same, exercising power with honesty and good performance; appointed Minister Plenipotentiary of Bolivia in Chile, the National Congress in 1829, elected him as President of the Republic of Bolivia.

Andres de Santa CruzHis government first turned the country into a state with a good economic condition, established a proper political division, and especially formed new armed forces, incorporating high prestige chiefs in the libertarian struggle such as Burdett O’Connor, Otto Felipe Braun, Col. Santa Maria Trinidad de la Moran, Colonel Jose Ballivian.

Upon the request for assistance from Peru by President Orbegoso, signed a treaty of cooperation, entering Peru in charge of the Bolivian army, triumphing in the battles of Socabaya and Yanacocha on February 4, 1836, setting a new state, the Peru-Bolivian Confederation on October 20, 1836.

The Confederation due its power put susceptible the neighboring republics, Chile entered the territory of the Confederation with a powerful army, being defeated in the battle of Paucarpata, signing a non-aggression treaty.

Argentina broke through the south of the Confederation, being defeated in Iruya and Montenegro.

The situation of the Confederation at the time was one of the most prestigious states: “It reached the peak of its glory and prosperity, showing strong and united within, and respected and largest outside”.

Chile breaking the signed treaty of non aggression, invaded with an army prepared for the effect the territory of the Confederation, and the Battle of Yungay defeated the Confederate army, January 20, 1839.

The Mariscal Santa Cruz had no choice to gather his forces and present new battle, betrayal became flesh in the Bolivian politicians, starting from his Chancellor Casimiro Olañeta, only a General raised his voice in protest: Burdett O’Connor.

Marshal banished died in Versailles, France, on September 25, 1856 at 73 years old.

Bolivarian Society of Bolivia.
Founded in 1936.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: