December 13th, 2010 Headsman
On this date in 1828, Argentine independence hero Manuel Dorrego was shot in Buenos Aires — a casualty of that country’s unfolding civil war.
Dorrego (English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed Spanish), the youngest son of a Portuguese merchant, became a brilliant soldier of his country with an adventuresome career in the Argentine War of Independence, at one point taking refuge in exile in Baltimore, U.S.
If one likes, that sojourn in a functioning republic firmed up Dorrego’s commitment to federalism — the principle that would animate a decades-long internal conflict over division of power in the newly independent state.
And they did not confine their disputes to pamphlets.
Resistance from the provinces to overweening Buenos Aires and Argentina’s unitarian first president Bernardino Rivadavia helped precipitate that gentleman’s fall from power and the dissolution of the national government.
But a rough customer of the unitarian camp, Gen. Juan Lavalle, overthrew Dorrego’s government and mounted a terrifying purge of federales.**
Beginning, of course, with Dorrego himself, who was given one hour’s advance notice of his entirely extrajudicial shooting.
* The fruit of this treaty was the independent state of Uruguay, as each side gave up trying to take that territory from the other by force.
** Until Lavalle was ousted by the next great federalist leader, Juan Manuel de Rosas.
Also on this date
- 1889: John Gilman, tetchy landlord
- 1861: William Johnson, impulse deserter
- 1532: Solomon Molcho
- 1945: The Belsen war criminals
- 2006: Angel Diaz
Entry Filed under: 19th Century,Argentina,Capital Punishment,Cycle of Violence,Death Penalty,Execution,Famous,Heads of State,History,Martyrs,No Formal Charge,Politicians,Power,Shot,Summary Executions,Wartime Executions