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The chased payer

January 31, 1908: Birth of Atahualpa Yupanqui

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It happens on more than one occasion that those who most represent us as Argentines have had complicated relations with the country. Icons, emblems, legends from different backgrounds end their days away from the land that saw them born, exiled, banned or simply disillusioned. Maybe that's the case of Atahualpa Yupanqui.

Persecuted, tortured, censored and imprisoned by Peronism, in 1950 he made a stop in Uruguay before leaving for Paris, where he took Argentine folklore where he had never arrived. He even managed to share the stage with Edith Piaf herself.

He returned to the country in 1956, and the Liberating Revolution—which had overthrown Peron—continued persecution for his membership of the Communist Party. Atahualpa returned to pack his bags and returned to France. He returned periodically to Argentina, but never again definitively.

He was born on January 31, 1908 in Pergamino, Buenos Aires province, in a humble family of farm workers. He made guitar his best friend and folklore his raison d'être. He lived in a wandering exile. He dazzled Paris. He loved Argentina from a distance. He died on 23 May 1992 in Nimes, France. Then he was able to return definitively: today his ashes rest at the foot of an oak tree in Cerro Colorado, Córdoba, and his songs continue to blow with the wind.

Publication Date: 18/04/2018

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