Biography of Agustín Gamarra (1785-1841)

Military and Peruvian politician, President (1829-1833; 1839-1841). He was an important leader of the initial Peruvian Republic, who became President on two occasions. Born August 27, 1785 in Cusco. He was son of the notary Fernando Gamarra and Josefa Petrona Messia. He received much of his education at the Colegio de San Buenaventura.

In 1809 he entered the career military, obtaining the grade of Lieutenant Colonel of the Spanish army for his outstanding performance in the military campaigns of the troubled period that had him live. He was under orders from Goyeneche in their fight against the expeditions sent by the Junta in Buenos Aires to the Alto Peru, participating in the battle of Guaqui. In Tucumán and Salta was under the orders of Pio Tristan, while in Vilcapuquio and Ayohuma participated led by Pezuela. He took part in the military campaign against the rebellion of the Indian chieftain Mateo Pumacahua in 1814, next to Ramirez, defeating the rebel in Umachiri... A charge was given the accounting province of Puno and formed the Regiment No. 1, basically consisting of Cuzco. Pezuela promoted him to Colonel and sent him to pacify Tarija. Twice was suspended by believing that he was in favor of the Patriot cause. Then, he moved to the capital Regiment No. 1, arriving Gamarra to Lima in 1820 under Canterac orders since the beginning of 1781. He was appointed aide-de-camp of the viceroy Pezuela.

At the beginning of 1821 he left the Royalist Army and was presented in the headquarters of San Martín in Huaura. He took an active part in the process of independence of Peru. It was with Álvarez de Arenales when he beat the O´Reilly troops sent from the capital to Cerro de Pasco. During the protectorate he accompanied Domingo Tristán in the unsuccessful campaign to the South, fighting in the battle of Macacona.

During the Peruvian independence, in 1823, the President named Riva Agüero General and directed together with Andrés de Santa Cruz the second Campaña to intermediate ports, aiming to counter the realistic power concentrated in the South of the country and the Alto Peru. Gamarra was able to occupy Santa Cruz, La Paz and Oruro. While in this second expedition was the victory at the battle of Zepita, Patriots troops had removed since reinforcements increased considerably to the Royalist Army. At the time of the dictatorship of Simón Bolívar, he participated in the battle of Ayacucho the 9 December 1824, as Chief of staff, made that gave him great prestige as this race definitely strengthened the independence of Peru.

His figure as a warlord stands out then of independence, culminating in the early Republican times. After Ayacucho, the army under the command of Sucre went to Cuzco, where he was received with great festivities. Gamarra was elected Prefect of Cuzco and for two years was devoted to reorganize their native land, as documented by the historian Horacio Villanueva. During the Government of José de La Mar, he invaded the Bolivian territory to put an end to the Government of Antonio José de Sucre and expel grancolombianas troops from the neighboring country. It was the era of the fear of the return of Simón Bolívar to the Peru and an antibolivariano atmosphere they breathed since the abolishment of the lifetime Constitution early in 1827. In Bolivia this magna carta which govern the fate of the newly-erected Federation of los Andes remained valid and was the most loyal follower of the Venezuelan caudillo. The invasion led by Gamarra put an end to plans of Bolivar in the State recently created in 1825. Gamarra entered La Paz at the end of may, 1827, and at the beginning of June is a peace treaty signed in Piquiza, who accepted the conditions imposed by the sea. For his performance, Gamarra was promoted to the grade of Marshal. General Sucre left power and embarked in Arica heading to Guayaquil.

Intervention in Bolivia would, in turn, originate a war against Gran Colombia. Indeed, Bolivar declared war on Peru, contest involving our leader. Under the command of the so-called army of the South took part in actions of the war, fighting in the Portete de Tarqui. The conflict culminated with the signing of the agreement of Girón. The sea withdrew his troops to Piura, and while it was planning to again go to war with the neighboring country, Gamarra revolted, supported by the tarapaqueno Antonio Gutiérrez de la Fuente in Lima, giving a coup d'etat.

In 1829 the Cuzco leader took power, being its Vice-President Gutiérrez de la Fuente. Then ended the war with the Gran Colombia through the Armistice of Piura and, later, borders were defined through the signing of the Larrea-Gual Treaty (1829). Almost at the same time as La Mar, Santa Cruz had taken power in Bolivia and started a campaign to separate the Peru South to connect with Bolivia. Once in power, Gamarra urged permit Congress to invade Bolivia and put an end to the Bolivian President plans. His proposal was rejected. However, realized negotiations between the two warlords near the Desaguadero River and continued in Arequipa, resulting in the signing of the Treaty of Tiquina, in August 1831, which regulated relations between the two countries. In the absence of the President was conducted against a conspiracy directed by Gutiérrez de la Fuente, then took charge of the Government Doña Francisca Zubiaga, nicknamed "La Mariscala", wife of Gamarra. It is worth mentioning the great political influence of this woman, who supported general Eléspuru, prefect of Lima, he took the reins of power. During those years Ecuador had become separated from the Gran Colombia, which established a Treaty of limits, the Treaty Pando-Novoa, who first signed with the new neighbouring country (1832).

As time passed, the liberal opposition to the Government is robustecía more and members of Congress made to feel their protest. It was Francisco de Paula González Vigil, priest tacneno disciple of Bishop Chávez de la Rosa together with Luna Pizarro, who made the most severe criticism to the authoritarian regime of Gamarra culminating his argument with the famous words: "I should I accuse, I accuse". In his eloquent speech, González Vigil denounced illegal acts and the irregularities that had incurred the regime of Gamarra. With these accusations, the Government discredited is even more. The Congress was closed down at the end of 1832.Por those times, unfolded in the political environment - according to Jorge Basadre - the second doctrinal debate between Liberals and authoritarian, who discussed, mainly about the form of Government in a Republican system. While Liberals argued the idea that Congress should have greater power to uphold the law and respect for the Constitution, the authoritarian advocated a strong Executive to impose the principle of order and authority.

The National Convention met in 1833 to modify the Constitution of 1828 and hold elections. This was dominated by the Liberals, whose most representative characters were Francisco Javier de Luna Pizarro and the referred González Vigil. The elections gave victory to Luis José de Orbegoso, who was named interim President by the National Convention. This was the cause of the outbreak of the civil war in 1834 that pitted the rebel authoritarian military led by Pedro Bermúdez and Agustín Gamarra against President Orbegoso. Gamarra ignored the outcome of the election, and supported by the garrison that was in Lima, hastened to appoint interim President Pedro Bermúdez. Orbegoso and the members of the Convention should take refuge in the castles of the Real Felipe. But the troop began deserting and recognize Orbegoso, so authoritarian forces were forced to leave Lima and Jauja addressed. The confrontation culminated in the so-called Maquinguayo embrace, when Bermudez troops moved into the camp of Orbegoso, desertion by Colonel José Rufino Torrico, later President of the Peru. After the failure of the rebellion, Gamarra marched south and continued plotting against Orbegoso. He went to Bolivia and made contact with the President, Santa Cruz, who offered him his help.

Shortly after, taking advantage of that Orbegoso had gone to Arequipa to quell an uprising, Felipe Santiago Salaverry, Lima chieftain who took the castles of the Real Felipe rebelled against it. Faced with this situation, the President resorted to Santa Cruz in search of support. It was just as it was signed the Pact of June 1835, by which Santa Cruz would provide military aid to the Peruvian President against the uprising Salaverry and, in return, Orbegoso support Bolivian President to carry out their plans confederacionistas collecting two assemblies. In these circumstances, Gamarra joined forces with Salaverry, but it was defeated on the banks of the Yanacocha Lake, near Cusco, August 13, 1835. He fled to the capital, where wanted to continue the revolution, but was deported by Salaverry to Costa Rica. Then went to Chile and being in Santiago, along with other Peruvian expatriates, continued its propaganda campaign against the Confederation, which then had already been established for that. When Chile declared war on the Confederacy, the cusquenian warlord lent his support, returning to Peru next to Manuel Bulnes, who directed the second campaign Restorer, who bet against the roadstead of Ancón at the beginning of August 1838. Gamarra sent the reserve, beside her were Castilla, Gutiérrez de La Fuente and Torrico, among other Peruvian partners. The former President Orbegoso seconded by the Peruvian general Domingo Nieto, prefect of the Department of La Libertad, they proclaimed the end of the Confederacy, but refused to ally themselves with the restorative army of Chile and faced up to it, being defeated in the battle of guide cover in August 1838. In mid-October, the cusquenian warlord took over the general direction of the war. Then, at Yungay Bulnes beat Santa Cruz in January 1839. Then, Gamarra rose to power.

His second Government lasted from 1839 until 1841. In this period, the Congress of Huancayo Gamarra proclaimed constitutional President with the title of restorative and promulgated the Constitution of 1839. Some time later, broke out a revolution led by Manuel Ignacio Vivanco, who assumed the Presidency in January 1841 in Arequipa. The cusquenian warlord turned to the place of the events and the uprising was ultimately suffocated in Cuevillas Ramón Castilla, Commander in Chief of the forces of Gamarra by. Vivanco fled to Bolivia.

During his rule, was the Foundation of the "El Comercio" newspaper, major newspaper that has survived until today. Its founder was Manuel Amunátegui, of Chilean origin, and its partner, the Argentine Alejandro Villota. The first issue appeared on May 4, 1939. So far, attempts to publish newspapers in Lima were fleeting, but this achieved long life.

Gamarra embarked on their last disastrous campaign and applied for permission to the Congress to declare war on Bolivia. Obtained the sanction favorable to their plans, it is rustic with troops by Ayacucho and Cuzco to the Bolivian border. War was declared on June 6, 1841, to finish with the supporters of Santa Cruz. Velasco resigned from the Presidency in favor of the Bolivian leader Ballivián, as the Peruvian invasion of Bolivia continued. Finally, on November 20, 1841 occurred the battle of Ingavi, where Gamarra died, at the age of 56. The name of the place was Incahue, but Bolivians changed it by Ingavi, which is anagram of Yungay. His remains were transported from Bolivia to Lima in 1849 with great solemnity and buried in the Presbitero Maestro cemetery. On the occasion of the funeral of this caudillo, Bartolomé Herrera prepared a sermon, which was a call to the order to the country. After his death, the country entered a period of military anarchy.


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