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At the beginning of the 19th century, the Spanish city of Cádiz was a hotbed of republican ideas contrary to the Spanish absolutist monarchy, which would result in the monarchical-republican Constitution of 1812 and included equal rights between Spaniards and Americans. In this passage of humanist and liberal Spain against clerical and reactionary Spain , the contributions of the Masonic lodges were fundamental, in particular the Lodge of Cadiz, made up of Creoles such as the Chilean Bernardo de O'Higgins and our José de San Martín . History still does not give enough weight to the influence of Latin American independentists Freemasons in the construction of modern Spain.Nor is the importance of the Spanish liberal and Freemason Rafael del Riego y Flórez, who, with his insurrection in 1820, delayed the repression of the colonies prepared by Fernando VII.
San Martín was initiated Freemason in the Integrity Lodge of Cadiz and, in 1808, received the third degree of Freemasonry, the corresponding Master. So he had a senior position inside the secret institution. There the procer establishes contact with other compatriots such as Carlos María de Alvear, Matías Zapiola and Francisco Chilavert , who sailed from London in 1812 on the Canning frigate for an unknown Buenos Aires. And with the secret plan to liberate a continent . St. Martin had over twenty years of impeccable service to the King, so it is not surprising that he was granted permission to graduate in the New World, although he cited familiar issues in Lima. He knew perfectly well that they would never let him arrive in a city of Buenos Aires that was the symbol of the uprisings in the colonies. Another point he knew was that he needed a political structure, a logistics that would allow him to pool loyal forces. Then play the Masonic filiation as crucial.
In broad terms, Freemasonry has a symbolic aspect, for ritual and formative purposes, and another operative aspect, which encourages the conquest of the spaces of government to carry the slogans of free thought, democracy, solidarity and justice. Saint Martin was impregnated with a liberal philosophy that had to be concretized in practice, and the lodges were “a resource to centralize the forces only to end, and to keep an entire country in that direction rebound and submissive.” Already in Buenos Aires there was a very active Masonic structure in the May Revolution , the Lodge of San Juan, which maintained fluid contacts with the Hispano-Americans of Cadiz. So the conditions were given for the birth of the famous Logia Lautaro , with the head of San Martín , and fundamental in propagating emancipatory ideals. It is worth noting that its name is not inspired by the Araucana Legend of Ercilla, but was an intentionally Masonic and symbolic word that meant “expedition to Chile”, and that only the initiates could understand. This is a misrepresentation of certain totalizing stories that try to erase a different thought, which advocates religious tolerance and, above all, the fight against all dogmatism.
The influence of the Lautaro Lodge was decisive in those early revolutionary years, as they are represented in the most libertarian articles of the Assembly of the Year XIII , although it also became a weapon of power that tried to remove the same.Simo San Martín , sending him for a suicide offensive by Alto Peru . But this displacement not only caused the Liberator to activate an incredible network of independant lodges of Masonic descent, which nourished his army with a high degree of homogeneity, but also allowed him to tour the country for the first time and convince himself of a plan to carry out.iacute; to freedom across the mountain range and the sea. “The Fatherland will not make its way on this side of the North. A small, well-disciplined army in Mendoza, would pass the Andes, and counting on the friendly government of Chile, will go by sea to Lima. As long as we're not over Lima, the war won't end. Here's my secret,” he wrote to his fellow Freemasons in Buenos Aires, including the supreme director Juan Martín de Pueyrredón , who responds to urgent requests for war resources, a few months before the immortal crossing: “Do not ask me toaacute; s if you don't want to know that I have dawned hanging from a fortress strap!”.
Before liberating Chile, he established the Lodge Army of the Andes, made up of Argentines and Chileans, Creoles and mulattos, which was based according to San Martín the “philanthropy... I am sure that it will not only promote the good of the country., but its basis, which is the establishment of public education.” After the victory of Chacabuco , the Logia Lautarina was established in Santiago and, with the arrival in Lima in 1821, the Logia Paz y Perpetúa Unión emerged. The Masonic Continental Plan of American Independence would be completed by Guayaquil's embrace with the other great Freemason Liberator, Simón Bolívar.
Saint Martin 's refusal to speak in life about his relationship with Freemasonry and secret societies is well known. The Masonic oath of silence went beyond death. This perhaps led to systematic denial in official stories from the 20th century, coupled with the persecution of Freemasonry initiated by the Argentine Church and ended by Juan Perón , despite the fact that almost all the protagonists of the Independence and the Generation of the '80s belonged to some lodge. What was the motto of the Lautaro Lodge , which did so much to make us free with the sword and soul of Saint Martin and so many others? “Union, strength and virtue.”
Sources: Corbiere, E. Freemasonry. Politics and secret societies. Buenos Aires: South American.1998; Pasquali, P. San Martín Confidential. Personal correspondence of the Liberator with his friend Tomás Guido (1816-1849).Buenos Aires: Planeta. 2000, and “Bolívar, San Martín and Freemasonry in American Independence” magazine Todo es Historia. Nro. 405 April 2001. Buenos Aires; Levene, G. History of Argentina . Buenos Aires: Editorial Campano. 1967.
Publication Date: 18/08/2020
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