Bolivian independence: The Battle of Chicaloma

Jose Alberto Diez de Medina writes in El Diario:

The Battle of Chicaloma

Jose Alberto Diez de MedinaThe Revolution of July 16, 1809 triggered the formation of the first independent government of America, against the actions of Spain.

Then, the Viceroy of Peru, called a realist, winding and bloody military, Jose Manuel de Goyeneche, to quell the uprising subversive city of Our Lady of La Paz. Goyeneche, with a contingent gathered in Peru, totaling 5,000 men, began their advance towards the High Peru.

On September 22 it became known in La Paz that advanced forces of Goyeneche, commanding colonels Fermín Piérola and Domingo Tristán, had occupied the Desaguadero.

The commander Pedro Domingo Murillo sent a detachment to Tiahuanacu, under the command of Sergeant Major Juan Bautista Sagárnaga to repress the royalists if they cross the Desaguadero River, the border of the two viceroys. For the Revolution of July 16, October marked the beginning of its collapse.

The Brigadier Goyeneche established his headquarters in Zepita; in October 4th there was a failed attempt of settlement in the village of Laja.

Several patriots in Tiahuanacu were gathered, decided the return of the patriot army to La Paz, to prevent a counter-revolution, calling for help to the Indians from Pacajes.

At noon on October 13, the patriot troops under Captain Gabriel Antonio Castro came to Chacaltaya awaiting the royalist forces.

Approaching Goyeneche to Chacaltaya, Captain Castro visualized, first, a large force and secondly a powerful cavalry, and resolved to withdraw the bulk of his army’s, along with the Hussars on horseback, to the streams of Yungas, leaving some men under the leadership of Juan Antonio Figueroa, with orders to blow up the gunpowder and cannons that could not be transported. The easy victory of Goyeneche in Chacaltaya meant the restoration of the previous royalist authorities prior to July 16.

Patriots met in Coroico: Captain Castro, Victorio Garcia Lanza and others.

In their attempt to annihilate the patriots, Goyeneche sent his deputy, Colonel Domingo Tristan, with a strong contingent advanced until Irupana.

The patriots were mobilized to Irupana Chulumani, resulting in a bloody battle on November 11 in the town of Chicaloma; Colonel Domingo Tristan, a royalist, with a false maneuver managed to corner the patriotic forces, defeating them completely. Some fleeing patriot people could withdraw to Chulumani.

Domingo Tristan launched a terrible persecution, and managed to capture captain Antonio Castro and Garcia Victorio Lanza, sending Goyeneche the heads of both, which in pikes were placed in the plazas: the first in Alto Lima and the second in Coroico as a warning.

On October 25, Jose Manuel de Goyeneche triumphantly entered the city of La Paz.

Colonel Pedro Domingo Murillo went fleeing to Zongo, being apprehended as aresult of an informer, and taken to La Paz.

From November 11 to January 10, 1810, all the revolutionary leaders were captured, subsequently occurring the wild statement condemning to death by club and hanging.

It should be noted that the battle of Chicaloma, for its significance and importance, is the first battle of magnitude made in America in search of its independence.

The patriotic forces were commanded by Captain Gabriel Antonio Castro, Victorio Garcia Lanza, the priest Jose Antonio Medina and the royal forces commanded by Colonel Domingo Tristan and Commander Narciso Basagoytia. The battle took place in Chicaloma, place opposite to the town of Irupana, on November 11, 1809.

The patriot army was formed by the division of Captain Castro with the bulk of its forces, plus the hussars that moved from Chacaltaya to the Yungas, along with the forces of Lanza, with more than 300 men who came from the Irupana withdrawal.

Defeated and fleeing, Castro and Garcia Lanza, were caught crossing the river Huiri, dying in combat, cutting off their heads were delivered to Colonel Tristan.

Later promoted to general, Domingo Tristan occupied the High Peru, reaching the northern provinces of Rio de la Plata: Salta and Jujuy in 1813.

Bolivia Bolivarian Society. Founded in l936

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