Biography of José de la Serna y Martínez de Hinojosa (1770-1832)

Military and Spanish colonial administrator, born in Jerez de la Frontera in 1770 and died in Seville on July 6, 1832, which was forty-viceroy of Peru (1821-1824).

Son of Álvaro de la Serna and Figueroa and Nicolasa Martínez de Hinojosa, at the age of fifteen entered the Royal armies and carried out his military training at the artillery College in Segovia. He/She participated in the campaign in Catalonia against the French revolutionary army, and then he/she joined the squad of José de Mazarredo , who made the second naval expedition against England in 1789, attended the defense of Ceuta in 1791 and fought in the war of independence against Napoléon Bonaparte troops being captured on the website of Zaragoza. He/She escaped from prison in France and took refuge in Switzerland and Greece before returning to Spain. In 1814 he/she was promoted to brigadier, Chief of the Third Regiment of artillery, and a year is later decorated him with the military order of San Hermenegildo, ascended to the level of field marshal, and was declared Benemérito de la Patria in heroic degree for his participation in the website of Zaragoza.

Be named Joaquín de la Pezuela viceroy of the Peru, assumed command of the army of the Alto Peru from resignation of field marshal Salvador Sánchez. He/She sailed from Cádiz and arrived at Arica September 7, 1816, in the company of general Jerónimo Valdés and Bernardo de la Torre and Antonio Seoane captains that had constituted a liberal Lodge. He/She assumed command of the army Alto 12 November 1816 and defeated River Plate expedition of general Martín Güemes. Discrepancies with the viceroy Pezuela was deepened to start La Serna late campaign of Salta which could not prevent the advancement of the general San Martín towards Chile. The arrival to the high Peru of the liberal general José Canterac, who had been appointed manager of the of the army staff, increased the power of La Serna and his supporters against the questioned authority of the viceroy. However, La Serna resigned in September 1819 at his command, when made public its disagreements with Pezuela.

He moved to Lima with the intention of leaving for Spain and the viceroy, in a gesture of reconciliation, reached the rank of lieutenant general. However, the worsening of the political and military situation with the advance of the expedition liberator of the general San Martín and the concentration on their military lodge Lima encouraged him hatching the conspiracy to depose the viceroy. The mutiny took place in Aznapuquio, North of Lima, on January 29, 1821, and became after deposing Pezuela, La Serna new viceroy of Peru, decision which was heeded by the Crown. La Serna held negotiations with general San Martín at the hacienda Punchauca, close to the town of Canta, between April 27 and may 28, 1821 which eventually failed. La Serna and his army left Lima on 6 July of that same year, unable to sustain a deprovisioned square surrounded by the armies of the Patriots, but ordered a garrison of 2,000 soldiers to resist the strong Real Felipe in Callao. Confident control of the Alto Peru by the army who commanded the absolutist general Pedro Antonio de Olañeta, the viceroy established the new realistic Government in Cuzco.

Meanwhile in Lima the general San Martín declared official independence on July 28 and formed the protectorate under your Presidency. By order of La Serna, general Canterac made a brief incursion in Lima. The clash between royalists and Patriots underwent a turnaround in 1823 to retiring from the political scene general San Martín and the liberating expedition, which allowed the presence of powerful Colombian army general Simón Bolívar. The army of general Canterac was defeated by Colombian troops of general Antonio José de Sucre in Junín in August 6, 1824. For its part the realistic forces of the Alto Peru, loyal to the general Olañeta, rebelled against La Serna on behalf of the absolutist restoration. The viceroy La Serna joined realistic troops quartered in Cuzco with the general Canterac and turned to Ayacucho to present the final battle. December 9, 1824 Patriots troops defeated the royalists in the pampa de la Quinua. La Serna was taken prisoner and signed the capitulation of Ayacucho which recognized the independence of the Peru. La Serna and the remains of his army were embarked in the harbour of Quilca on the French frigate "Ernestina" on January 2, 1825 and went to Spain. Received coolly by the Court of Fernando VII, La Serna underwent several years of administrative exclusion. In January 1831 he/she was rehabilitated and was granted the position of captain general of Granada. He/She died in Seville on July 6, 1832.


MILLA BATRES, Carlos (ed.). Peru historical compendium. Independence and Republic (19th century). (Lima: 1993).

TAURO, Alberto (ed.). Illustrated encyclopedia of the Peru. (Lima: 1987).