Juan Manuel de Rosas came to power thanks to an alliance between different regions of the country that needed to limit the excesses of Buenos Aires. The need for a port and the increase in taxes charged for access to the Rio de la Plata , were marked by injustice.
Now, as often happens, the remedy was worse than the disease . The righteous claims of the interior were lost in the unlimited omnipresence of federal forces . Like an octopus, Rosas police were able to reach anywhere where an offence was committed against the Holy Federation .
After long waiting, the day came. The plenipotentiary governor of Buenos Aires and his regional agreement with the warlords of Buenos Aires Catamarca , La Rioja , Jujuy , Mendoza , San Juan , St. Louis , Salta and Tucumán , he was in danger of dissolving .
As the Buenos Aires intelligentsia had predicted, Rosas would be defeated on the battlefield, precisely in the lands of the Caseros family, located in the province of Buenos Aires . The event took place on February 3, 1852.
Jus to José de Urquiza led the so-called Big Army , formed by an alliance between Brazil , Uruguay and the provinces of Between Rios , Santa Fe and Corrientes .
Caseros went ahead fighting rifle against rifle and counting death by death. However, it was the strategies of the unitarians that eventually led them to victory. Rosas, defeated, angry and already without power, impetuously collided the weapons of his soldiers with those of the men of Urquiza, showing his line: that of the federal warlords . But nothing was enough. His cause was already a lost illusion. The Holy Federation had made so many mistakes when it came to stand, that the exiled unitarians ended up defining Rosas as the “ Caligula del Plata ” ( Sunday Faustino Sarmiento, statement to the newspaper El Mercurio , Chile, March 3, 1848).
Bartolomé Mitre , in his role as a journalist, did not hesitate to accuse Rosas of having used public money for his benefit. On the other hand, in his “ History of Belgrano and Argentina's Independence”, as well as in the “History of San Martín”, leaves a lot of dark spots. It happens that Mitre himself was one of the organizers of the Large Army . A lot of intellectuals fought in that war. Florencio Varela, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Rivera Indarte, author of “ Tablas de Sangre” .
“ The victims' heads are placed on the public market adorned with celestial ribbons,” wrote Rivera Indarte, showing one of the wildest aspects of the Rosas government (“ Tablas de Sangre ”, Library Authors Argentinos, Antonio Dos Santos -Editor-, Buenos Aires 1946). It is also true that Casa Lafone, according to an allegation by Emile Girardine in 1848, was the one that financed José Rivera Indarte's work in order to use it as propaganda. This British company had great interests in Montevideo . If Girardine's complaint was true, the work was being financed by one of the virtual owners of the Uruguayan capital, where Bartolomé Mitre was organizing his army .
On the other hand, it is highly suggestive that the same Englishmen who helped to overthrow the Holy Federation gave asylum in London nothing less than Juan Manuel de Rosas. To what extent were spurious agreements able to shape our past?
The clashes of those days were very fierce. The actions of its protagonists took directions difficult to explain. Their struggles and controversies were so sophisticated, that to this day there are those who are careful in referring to the crimes committed by both sides. Wouldn't it be that those infamous acts ended up hiding in the blindness of our most intimate fears? Possibly, like the sins of youth, like family secrets, were hidden in those irreconcilable arguments that usually separate people forever . In these extreme cases, reality ends up being subjective.
Sergio es un autor e historiador argentino que revisa los movimientos segregacionistas a través de la historia. Ha publicado entre otros libros, Los Escribas de Dios, Los Músicos de Dios, Breve Historia del Mundo y Mitos a Medias. Actualmente es docente de Pensamiento del Siglo XX en la Dirección de Cultura de la Universidad de Belgrano y escribe para Ediciones Fortnel.