War of the Confederation, 1837

Waves of independence movements in the early part of the 19th century had left much of South America in disarray. When military commander Andrés Santa Cruz came to power as President of Bolivia in 1829, he quickly established an authoritarian regime to reform the Bolivian economy, military, and civic code. His reforms brought stability to Bolivia and he soon sought to expand Bolivia’s influence on the continent, and to correct what he saw as an error of post-colonial border demarcation, by forming a confederation with neighboring Peru. Other South American leaders, particularly in Colombia, Argentina, and Chile feared the newly formed Peru-Bolivian Confederation would upset the tenuous balance of power on the continent, and sought to break up the Confederation and remove Santa Cruz from power. Chile and Argentina both went to war against Santa Cruz, although they did so separately because Argentine President de Rosas and Chilean President Portales had a strong personal dislike of each other. By 1839, the Confederation was dismantled and Santa Cruz was forced into resignation. He spent much of the 1840s attempting to retake the Presidential office, but never succeeded. He retired to Versailles in France, where he died in 1865.

santacruz

Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz, Supreme Protector of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation (1836-1839)

Message Given by the President of the Republic of Chile to the National Congress, stating the reasons for the present war in Peru, 1837 Top

Source: Chile, President (1831-1841 : Prieto). Mensaje que hace el presidente de la República de Chile al Congreso Nacional exponiendo las razones justificativas de la presente guerra con el Perú. Santiago de Chile: Impr. Araucana, [1837?].
Obtained from the Harvard Latin American Pamphlet Digital Collection, http://vc.lib.harvard.edu/vc/deliver/home?_collection=LAP, 3 July 2012.


Fellows of the Senate and of the House of Deputies.

 

I must account for the poor outcome of our negotiation efforts with the Peruvian Government to reach an agreement that would secure the peace and good harmony of the Republic of Chile with those of Peru and Bolivia.

 

Though I had made propositions in order to establish these negotiations in Santiago, I believed that the most suitable place that they could continue on without interruption and to lead in a short time to a definitive result, was the capital of Peru. Chile came to them as an actor; and could not have foreseen the nature or extent of our demands; that the Peruvian Plenipotentiary lacked, therefore, instructions to respond on behalf of his government on any of them; and that the necessity of consulting them occasioned delays that much worsened our position, if (as all, by disgrace, announced it) the poor course of the negotiations forced us to appeal to arms. If you have little confidence inspired by a government that has broken the peace with an unprecedented act of perfidy; with whose sincerity in dealings would have been folly to count on; and that probably entered in those with only a view to gain time, while when the time came to make war they had advantage; I doubt not you shall approve the determination I made to send to Lima a Plenipotentiary Minister, exposing directly our complaints to the Peruvian Government to obtain the reparations and competent securities, and that in failure to achieve this has led us to war.

 

At the same time, I took the resolution to send our fleet to Peruvian waters. It was not fair to allow the aggressor government to increase and concentrate their naval forces in the shadow of those dealings, and give themselves the advantage of being able to to start offensive operations, or even better, of renewing them, while our own found ourselves still ignorant of the ill success of the negotiations. In addition to this the necessity to give to our Plenipotentiary minister expedited means of communication with this Government, and the danger that one or two ships of our fleet would have found if they were caught by the Peruvians, if that peace, so doubtful and precarious, was followed by war.

 

In order to remove every measure that might make odious, explanations were made here about its true character to the charge d’affaires of Bolivia. But they were not contented with this Government. Our Plenipotentiary had among his instructions to circumvent the disadvantage of the presence of our fleet, fixing by mutual agreement the points to which our vessels should be withdrawn and the approach in which the Peruvians had to remain; stipulating that before the break in negotiations and the commencement of hostilities they mediate a reasonable interval; and acquiese themselves to strengthen compliance of those agreements with the guarantee all or any of those foreign legations resident in Lima, or of those warship commanders anchored in Callao. I believe that it was not possible to carry beyond our considerations to the honor of a government whose conduct with us had been nothing less than dignified and delicate. However, they would not even listen to the proposals of the Chilean Minister; they did not permit nor even allow for understanding with the Peruvian Government’s foreign relations: to the proposal of reciprocal conditions, they answered by requiring flat and unconditional security, as preliminary to any deal; and they were reduced to the hard line of withdrawing indicating, in conformity with their instructions, that they saw as a declaration of war.

 

Before you (from no. 1 to 6 and 1 to 8) are the copies of the communications mediating this matter between the fleet commander and the Governor of Callao, and between the Chilean Plenipotentiary Minister and the Minister of foreign relations of Peru, I make known to you so that the reasons on our part could not be more open or frank, nor could we be expected to take greater care for the consideration of the honor of the Peruvian government.

 

As it became known in Santiago the unfavorable result of the negotiations in Lima, the Peruvian Plenipotentiary Minister attempted to establish these here; and said to this effect the notes that accompanied the copes under numbers 1 and 2. In the Chilean Minister of foreign relations reply, they were agreed to this proposition, and given notice of the indispensible items, according to the judgement of the Government, bound to serve as a basis for requesting compromise. I believe it necessary to draw your attention to each one of these, and do so without reminding those of you have already been subject to my communications with them.

 

The first of these points is a satisfaction for the violence committed to the person of D. Ventura Lavalle, our leader of negotiations in Lima. It would be wasting time to expound on the justice of this demand. The providence of sending him from the Peruvian territory would have been quite enough even if this individual had been guilty of any irregularity in the performance of the public mission that was confided in him; but neither before nor after this outrage had we heard any imputation against his conduct; unless the offense is regarded as his visit to Aquiles in the morning that preceded the apprehension of the Peruvian warships anchored in Callao, or the advanced knowledge of an event, that was resolved in Santiago without his participation, and that was not possible to prevent. His imprisonment was due purely to hatred of Chile. And despite the magnitude of this grievance, that hurt the national honor, in a gift of peace we were determined to content ourselves with a moderate satisfaction, the consultation of the dignities of both parties.

 

The second point is the independence of Bolivia and of Ecuador, in other terms, the conservation of the political balance of the Republics of the South, violently disturbed by an intvervention whose ostensible object was to restore the legitimate order in Peru, and whose result was the usurpation of all those countries by General Santa Cruz. Only forgetting the first of all the duties of a nation, to watch over their own security, could disregard the right of the Republics of the South, that are still free from the yoke, in order to resist with arms an innovation that could put their independence in danger. If France intervening now in the civil war of the Peninsula, aligns themselves with one of the parties incorporating these two states into one under any government, should the surrounding nations consider it in silence? Would no one let loose a shout of indignation from one end of Europe to another? Who there would then say to the states that declare themselves against the new order of things: this is a negotiation in which you have no part, and that will take effect without asking? The history of civilized people is a continuing lesson that instills the necessity and shows the right of resistance to the first attacks of ambition. She shows us the disastrous results of this guilty indolence, for when the people do not see the danger that is at hand, they fall into the abyss that they have made, and they could be saved by pooling their means of defense against the common enemy. She shows us what value the guarantee of the personal virtue of the usurpers, and their irresistible protests of moderation and justice. She shows us that the value of such forms that give the color of legitimacy to violence and fraud. The national pact of the new Peru-Bolivian people has been adjusted between treachery on the one hand, strength and cunning on the other.

 

Chile is not intruding to defend outside interests: it defends its own health: it defends the cause of the political association of which it is a member; and although not the most influential of all, it has had cause of offense unique to forestall the other in sustaining its own rights and the rights of the common. This leads me to the third of the bases proposed to the Peruvian Plenipotentiary Minister. Even though the plan for the usurpation of Peru and subjugation of Bolivia to the new government was not consummated, they were snared against Chile, concealed previously under treacherous assurances of friendship. It is not necessary to record the manner with which the expedition in Lima that saw an invasion of our coasts was forged, they are public; but rather those elements that accompanied them, these were warships of the Peruvian state, with Peruvian arms, under the Peruvian banner, that had in it employees of the Peruvian government; and the decree that was issued the day after they left to hinder a ship sent by the Chilean agent to bring news to Chile. They wanted to attribute this to the neglectful connivance of their employees; and they had said that the object of the embargo was to impede its rejoining other ships from the expedition; as if to achieve this end they would have been detained for quite a few hours, immediately raised who knew that the vessel carrying the message was out of port. I will assume that the Peruvian government saw what everyone saw; it knew what was known to all. We admit that we had knowledge of the destination of the expedition until the 8th of July, the date the embargo was decreed, or if one wants, until the 9, date of the first communication that D. Trinidad Moran, Superior Chief of the Department, directed to D. Ventura Lavalle, to make it to believe that the government did not have any part in this attack. Although forty-eight hours had not elapsed. Although there was time to detain the expedition, especially when no one ignored that the Monteagado was to meet with the Orbegoso in the nearby Huacho. Why were other national warships not sent to Moteagudo and Oregoso to demand that they return to the Peruvian ports? Why did they not request assistance from the foreign warships, whose commanders had without doubt provided with the best intentions to prevent the execution of a company disaster, that compromised the peace of two friendly peoples and the interests of trade, and if it was not Peruvian, had all the characteristics of piracy? How is it that the Peruvian government limits itself to washing its hands of the notes of complicity with the private offices that comes through the lack of sincerity and sarcasm, and with summary information, that they did not attend nor hold the employees responsible, nor those of the main drivers of the expedition that were in Lima and were known to all? How do they not suggest to the authors and participants of the crime the punishment that they had signaled, the Peruvian laws, as to all other people? The Peruvian government behaved with those employees as if they had done the same thing to comply with their orders, and with the other offenders as if they had committed an indifferent act, and there was no grave offense against the supreme authority of Peru. Two of the principal leaders of the expedition were returned to Lima, when there they were in full force agreement from the 28th of August. Were their persons persons perhaps avenged by Peruvian laws, so greatly had they been violated? Had it even met with one of the clauses of the agreement, that obligated it to return the expedition to Peru? Take note, in passing, of the unfaithfulness of General Santa Cruz in the enforcement of that pact, and the success with which this government proceeded when they had negotiated to ratify it. All government is directly responsible even for the negligence of its agents; and when the supreme authority, quiet spectator of this crime, without taking some ruling to prevent it and punish it, their conduct is truly aggression.

 

The injury can not be more indubitable; however this government has determined to satisfy their obligation by seeing it as a mere pecuniary reparation; and not with the view of insisting in it, but to completely condone all, alleged the acquiescence of General Santa Cruz to the the other proposals. It was impossible to give a more positive test of our peaceful wishes, and of the sacrifices with which we were willing to give to purchase peace. We were also agreed, without difficulty, to forgive the value of the cost of the aid which they were given during the war for independence. And if in respect of the debt we were not being equally generous, in circumstances of finding ourselves committed to this Republic in an expensive transaction with their own creditors, from which funds came which were provided to Peru; the more greatly declined the mood of the government (and in this notion they extended the instructions to our Plenipotentiary Minister) to reduce the capital and the due interest to an equitable sum, giving themselves competent securities for the payment of its interest, and for its gradual extinction.

 

The fourth of the proposed conditions to the Peruvian Plenipotentiary Minister was an object which is not only in our security interest and the other Republics of the South, but that mattered greatly to avoid very grave extravagance, since the increased naval forces of Peru consequently led to the increase of each of the other Republics; and at what point would these successive efforts end, that would be so ruinous to the incomes and prosperity of all? The purpose that we intended was of a general importance, and with all this as the work that each state wants to do from their resources is a matter which should not be mixed with others, in so that it does not threaten its repose, we can not hesitate in accepting any other guarantee, even if not entirely equivalent: and in this sense they were literally intended as instructions to the Chilean Plenipotentiary Minister.

 

In virtue of the fifth proposal both parties were to give all measure of exception against their respective trade. We could not neglect this measure, given the hostility declared at that time against the trade of Valparaiso by the Peruvian administration, and particularly since general Santa Cruz had decided influence and that could be easily renewed under the influence of that spirit of rivalry that more easily damages the prosperity of the invidious neighbor, that could be encouraged by the very legitimate ways that nature has made available to all. While the Peruvian government has reason to know, that, happy with their impartiality, we do not aspire to privileges of any kind.

 

The last of the bases proposed, the essence of the Chileans in Peru, as of the Peruvians in Chile, of contributions and special cargos and of all compulsory military service, is of the most rigorous justice. For many years has Chile been subject, despite incessant claims, to the injury of seeing its citizens dragged by the hundreds to the ranks of the militia and the army and to the Peruvian warships, while the foreigners of other nations enjoyed a complete immunity in the Peruvian territory. If they have the right to compel foreigners into military service, they should exercise it equally among all; to limit this burden to the citizens of one nation, only because they believe that it lacks the strength to repel the wrong, it is a proceeding unworthy of a government which professes principles of impartiality and justice, and those people can not undergo any subjection without being complicit in their own degradation.

 

The last copies that accompany us from the number 3 to 6, imposed the short term that the Peruvian Plenipotentiary Minister requested start here during the negotiations. You will see it justified the part that this government took to institute these in Lima, fearing the hindrance of the failure of the instructions; that is the motive that has introduced the usual practice of driving these dealings around the state being sued. You will also see the denial of the Peruvian agent admitting the most important of the proposals, ignoring in us the right to even make mention of it, as concerning a negotiation in which Chile has no legitimate part. It is true that in the last of Sr. Olaneta’s notes, he changed this rejection; but if the Peruvian government be of a different opinion than the minister, the way of negotiations is always open to put an end to the disasters of war, assenting to our just demands.

 

The good justice of the Chilean people and the foreign nations and the impartial failure of posterity, they will decide if the reasons justifying the honors which I have presented are sufficient to legitimate our recourse to war; if it is convenient and necessary this measure for our conversation of our dearest rights and the existence of the same; and if the means of reconciliation have been exhausted, without venturing to the fate of the homeland were permitted by an enemy that was the first to violate the peace; that it was with an act of the most horrible treachery; who has served continuously since the negotiations to conceal the snares; who in the midst of peace has been revealed to promote sedition and anarchy in neighboring countries and pave their way to war; and from whose insidious politics and perfidy to be a memorable example of the usurpation of Peru. Sooner or later the inevitability of war with this ambitious leader, whose plans to dominate South America were proved to the world years ago in a famous correspondence whose authenticity has never been disputed; with a man of aspirations so opposed to the security of neighboring states, and to the popular way of American institutions that he has sworn to uphold. Wisdom would not suppose him less ambitious when he had means to broaden his domains, and to more respect the rights of others, when he could not more impudently violate them. The only alternative that was within our discretion was this: if we waited to make war until his great and unfortunate prey had irrevocably fallen into his hands; until he had consolidated his new power, organized his new army, and dominated our sea; it would have been to the despair of shaking off the yoke and the habit of servitude that had perhaps dampened the indignation of the enslaved people and the feelings of independence that burn in them; or if we had rushed to defend our existence and that of the other states of the south. The choice was, in my opinion, never a moment in doubt. Submit our cause of battle to God, avenger of injustice and treachery, the only party that remains to us.

 

In virtue of this, I propose to you all the following resolutions:

1. That General Don Andrés Santa Cruz, President of the Republic of Bolivia, having unjustly usurped the sovereignty of Peru, menaces the independence of the other American Republics.

2. The the Peruvian Government, being in fact subject to the influence of General Santa Cruz, has, during a time of peace, been a party to the invasion of Chilean territory by a naval force of the Peruvian Republic for the purpose of stirring up discord and civil war among the Chilean peoples.

3. That General Santa Cruz, contrary to the rights of nations, has insulted the person of a public Minister of the Chilean nation.

4. That the National Congress, in the name of the Republic of Chile, insulted in its honour and menaced in its internal and external security, solemnly retifies the declaration of war made with the authority of the National Congress and of the Government of Chile by Don Mariano Egan~a, Minister Plenipotentiary, to the Government of General Santa Cruz.


Argentine Declaration of War Against Bolivia, 9 May 1837 Top

Source: Argentina, President (1835-1839: Rosas). 1837. Manifeste des motis qui le’gitiment de’claration de guerra contre le gouvernement du general Andres Santa Cruz, soi-disant pre’sident de le Confe’deration Pe’rou-Bolivienne; Traduit de l’espagnol. Buenos Aires: Imprimerie De L’Etat.

The Government charged with the Foreign Affairs of the Republic, in the name, and on behalf of the Argentine Confederation

 

Considering –

 

That General Andres Santa-Cruz, styled Protector of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, has promoted anarchy in the Argentine Confederation, by consenting to and aiding the military expeditions, which armed in the territory of Bolivia have invaded the Republic.

 

That he has violated the immunity of the territory of the Confederation by permitting to penetrate therein parties of troops of Bolivia, commanded by Bolivian chiefs, for the purpose of taking by force from Argentine Citizens sums of money, which tehy have effected.

 

That he has not given any reply to the remonstrances made on account of these spoliations.

 

That disregarding the reclamations of the Government charged with the Foreign Affairs of the Argentine Confederation, he has maintained on the frontiers of the Republic unitarian emigrants, thus allowing them to plan repeated conspiracies, to destroy which it has cost the Confederation sacrifices of all sorts.

 

That by fomenting continual disturbances in the Provinces of Tucuman and Salta, he has impeded the re-establishment of the confidence and good understanding necessary to obtain by means of pacific negotiation the restitution of the Province of Tarija, incorporated with Bolivia by an act of insurrection.

 

That he has promoted by means of seduction the dismemberment of other Provinces of said Confederation, encouraging them to form a new State, under his ominous protection.

 

Considering –

 

That the occupation of Peru by the Bolivian army is not founded on any right except that of an illegal, null, and criminal treaty, stipulated and signed by a Peruvian General, without power and without authority to deliver up his country to a foreigner.

 

That General Santa-Cruz has with the force under his command dilacerated Peru, and arrogated to himself an absolute power, sanctioned by diminutive and incompetent assemblies.

 

That this scandalous proceeding attacks the principle of popular sovereignty, which all the Republics of South America recognise as the basis of their institutions.

 

That the intervention of General Santa-Cruz to change the political order of Peru, is a criminal aggression against the liberty and independence of American States, and a notorious infringement of the law of nations.

 

That the concentration in his person of an authority for life, despotic and unlimited over Peru and Bolivia, with the power of naming his successor, tramples upon the rights of both States, and institutes a personal fief which the acts of Independence of both Republics solemnly prescribe.

 

That the extension of such power by an abuse of force, overturns the conservative equilibrium of peace in the Republics bordering on Peru and Bolivia.

 

Considering –

 

That the cantoning troops of the army of General Santa-Cruz on the northern frontier of the Confederation, the anarchical expedition sent to the coasts of Chili from the ports of Peru under the notorious protection of the agents of said Chief, and his simultaneous, consistent and perfidious intrigues, to create insurrection in the Argentine Republic, confirm the existence of a political plan to subordinate to the interests of the usurper, the independence and the honor of the States bordering on Peru and Bolivia.

 

That the continual state of inquietude and uncertainty in which the Argentine Republic is placed, by the insidious conduct of the Government of General Santa-Cruz, causes all the evils of war without any of its advantages.

 

And lastly –

 

That the double and false policy of General Santa-Cruz, has rendered of no avail any guarantee depending on the faithful fulfillment of his promises:

 

It declares –

 

1. That in consequence of the numerous acts of hostility alluded to and proved, the Argentine Confederation is at war with the Government of General Santa Cruz and its adherents.

 

2. That the Argentine Confederation will refuse peace and any arrangements whatever with General Santa Cruz untill it be well guaranteed against the ambition he has displayed, and until he evacuate the Peruvian Republic, leaving it entirely free to dispose of its own destiny.

 

3. That the Argentine Confederation recognises the rights of the Peruvian people, to preserve their original political organisation, or to sanction in use of their sovereignty their present division of States, when free from force they can occupy themselves without coercion in deciding on their own fate.

 

4. That the Argentine Confederation in the strife to which it has been provoked, does not entertain any territorial pretension beyond its natural limits, and protests in the presence of the Universe and before posterity, that it takes up arms to place in security the integrity, independence, and honor of the Argentine Confederation.

 

5. Let this be published, communicated to all whom it may concern, and inserted in the Official Register.

 

Rosas.

Feilipe Arana.


Manifesto of the causes which justify the declaration of war by the Argentine Confederation against the Government of General Andres Santa Cruz, 19 May 1837 Top

Source: Argentina, President (1835-1839: Rosas). 1837. Manifeste des motis qui le’gitiment de’claration de guerra contre le gouvernement du general Andres Santa Cruz, soi-disant pre’sident de le Confe’deration Pe’rou-Bolivienne; Traduit de l’espagnol. Buenos Aires: Imprimerie De L’Etat.

Manifesto

 

Of the causes which justify the declaration of war by the Argentine Confederation against the Government of General Andres Santa Cruz, styled President of the Peru Bolivian Confederation.

 

!Viva La Federacion!

 

Buenos Aires, May 19 1837.

18th year of the Liberty and of the Independence,

And 8th of the Argentine Confederation.

 

On breaking the peace which the people of the Argentine Confederation have conquered and preserved at so much cost the Government charged with the Foreign Affairs owes to its own honor, to that of the Confederation and to the respect due to all nations, to manifest the causes which justify the use of arms, to which reluctantly it has to appeal in order to defend the security and independence of the Republic.

 

Fortunately the Confederation is exempt from any well founded imputation of any of the ignoble motives which so frequently drag nations to serve as instruments of ambition or revenge; for although it be true, that it has not been able to guard itself against the calumny of its enemies, who ascribe to it an habitual spirit of inquietude, it has innumerable reasons to pride itself in having constantly shewn as much solicitude for external peace as firmness against its enemies. The glories it has acquired are sufficient to allow it to repose content on its laurels, and history is in possession of eminent acts of its disinterestedness, whilst one single instance of its ambition cannot be recorded.

 

The Confederation is ambitious, it is true, but her ambition is that the sovereign public opinion of the world may recognise and sanction in its inexorable judgement the justice of its pretensions. The Confederation is anxious for the universal conviction that the preservation of its dearest rights and of its political existence, more, if possible, tan the vindication of its grievances has brought it to the inevitable necessity of interposing force between tyranny and liberty, between conquest and the nation.

 

If the cause which impels the Argentine Confederation to appeal to arms for its own security were less weighty and conspicuous, it would nevertheless not consider itself exonerated from rendering a public account of its transition from peace to war, not so much to pay a tribute to the forms established by civilization, as to seek in the severe opinion of nations that immense power which ever associating itself with justice, chains fortune to it sooner or later in order to prostrate it before the empire of reason.

 

But when the Chief who hostilizes the Confederation has placed himself at the head of three populous Republics; when hired writers have been employed for many years past to delude America and Europe, with exaggerated fictions of his enlightened and beneficent administration; when the scandalous violation of the rights of a free nation has just been lauded as an act of magnanimity; when refined cruelty is presented to the eyes of the world under the mask of beneficence; and when, in fine, this said Chief availing himself of his station industriously endeavours to captivate the good-will of nations with pompous assurances of protection and guarantees, shall the Confederation confide alone in the justice of its cause? Shall it crouch under the suspicion of having been the aggressor, when its only thoughts have been directed towards its own defence? No: – the Government charged with the Foreign Affairs of the Confederation will demonstrate with facts that it has not been the instigator of the war. With them the Confederation present itself before the august tribunal of the people, without any other pretension than to show that it abandons peace when war is its only means of salvation.

 

After the splendid battle of Ciudadela had destroyed in 1831 the last remnant of the army of the Unitarian Band, the People felt the necessity of a durable peace, in order to recover under its shade from the ravages of civil war. Neither the stimulus of revenge provoked by the violence and depredations of those who had been victims, nor the premonition of new attempts by their enemies, nor the instinct of their own security, to the threatened remains scattered over the borders of the Republic, prevailed against the steady permanent tranquility to repair the ravages of the insane rage of the rioters.

 

The Governors of the Confederate Provinces, constituted in the urgent duty of safeguarding the will of the people and corresponding to the confidence in them, kept fully to their understood mission, and without drowsing in fatal inaction, they contracted exclusively to neutralizing the bitterness of passions, and in order to negotiate the springs of common prosperity while the national action of the Supreme Chief of Buenos Aires managed and conserved Foreign Relations, incessantly watched over for safety and repose, doing justice to the friends of the Republic and suing in return; cultivating peace and friendship with the nations, and rejecting hostile actions, with the dignity of the sovereign and independent State.

 

The gravity of this trust, and its immense responsibility before the opinion of the Republic, and before the solemn trial of history, placed the government of Buenos Aires in a delicate position in that a liberal policy, systematic and fair, should be deployed without detracting from the practical interests of the Confederation. Serious decline could be cited as an example of defection or of weakness in the Minister responsible for foreign relations since that time: for if at any time the intrigues of the discord came to succeed over the weakness of those vested with authority, popular action restored the laws and the authority to the throne, repelling the enemies that began anew to ignite the Republic.

 

They could not hide the minister charged with Foreign Relations, that toppled the government and the sacred institutions of their country; which had violated the ridiculous laws and claimed the right to impose with the sword a political system abhorrent to the Republic, they would exploit some of the warning, and fueled discord from any shelter. More noisy facts were accumulated to substantiate this sad premonition; and in the Eastern Band of the Plata River and in the Bolivian territory, they were stockpiling the first explosives against the Argentine Confederation.

 

The leniency with which the two Republics had been treated, the sacrifices enshrined in their emancipation, and the unequivocal evidence of adherence and fidelity of the Confederation, were such as gave room to expect the most solemn guarantees of reciprocity, unless the existence of a Government absolutely blind to its own interests, and insensible to national expediency could be foreseen. Who would not presume that the Chief of Bolivia, taught by the evils occasioned to his own country by discord, would not prefer the sympathies of neighbourhood and regard for a friendly Government to a bare-faced protection of the instigators of revolt? Who would suppose that the reclamations of the Argentine Government founded on the practice of nations jealous of the rights of humanity, would merit less respect from the Bolivian Chief than the incendiary projects of the refugees in that Republic?

 

But from all parts came to the Government charged with the Foreign Affairs, multifarious proofs of the criminal toleration of the Bolivian authorities, with regard to the attempts of the unitarian conspirators. The journals edited under the compulsive influence of the Bolivian ministry, discovered between satires and animadversion the dominant spirit of its Government against the Confederation; and in each act of General Santa Cruz, President of the said State, a perfect coincidence was noted with the plan initiated in Salta, by the Bolivian legation before the battle of Tucuman, in order to encourage the disorganising faction under the pretext of mediation, which was repelled opportunely by the illustrious General Quiroga. – Nevertheless this was not sufficient for the Government charged with the Foreign Affairs of the Republic, to yield to the impressions produced by such deeds. The Government of Buenos Aires was anxious of seeing in them an exaggerated sentiment of compassion for the unfortunate, rather than to be convinced of the perfidy of a cabinet which it had not offended, and whose existence represented a monument of the generosity and disinterestedness of the Argentine Republic.

 

Full of the confidence which justice inspires, and persuaded as the Government charged with Foreign Affairs was, that the opinion pronounced form one extreme of the Argentine Republic to the other for the federal system, would serve to counsel General Santa Cruz to retrace his steps, and restrain him on the brink of the abyss which he was preparing with his own hands, it addressed him on the 8th of June, 1832, through the Foreign office, declaring “that if the Argentine emigrants would submit to their fate and enjoy in peace the hospitality afforded them by the liberality of the laws of Bolivia, the Government would not allow itself to make the least indication to disturb them; but when it was evident that they made use of the inviolability of the said territory to forward their anarchical views, and were preparing themselves for new aggressions against the adjoining Provinces, it could not but demand of the Chief of Bolivia to order the Argentine emigrants residing in Mojos and Tupiza, or in any other town near the frontier, to retire to the interior, and to place them in a situation where they could not disturb the tranquility of their country, nor compromise the harmony of two nations destined to be faithful and sincere friends.”

 

It was not necessary for the Government of Buenos Aires, to invoke in its favour other interests than those of both countries, nor explain a demand which tending to strengthen the peace of the Republic conciliated the well being of its enemies. Nevertheless General Santa Cruz was reminded that if the conduct of nations of the first order such as England and France, sympathised in a similar case with the demand of the Republic, the Government of Chili no less intelligent and jealous of international rights, had withdrawn from the frontier those unitarians who were dangerous from their rank or influence. It was remarked to him that, “in dispensing to the emigrants every consideration which he deemed just, he should save the Republic from the necessity of shutting its doors for ever against them, if they continued their criminal attempts, and the departure of legation was announced to him as a special testimony of the desire of the Confederation to maintain peace with Bolivia.”

 

We appeal to the common sense of men of all nations, and to the conscience of all Argentines, to decide upon the conduct and sentiments of the Government. What greater proof could be given of moderation of principles, and of the desire for the preservation of peace? Perhaps the people devastated by the fire and sword of an odious faction, had a right to reproach the Government charged with the Foreign Affairs, for so much generosity in retribution for such flagrant offences? Perhaps there was too much reason to require from it an open rupture with the Chief of a State, who cautiously shielding the enemies of the Argentine Confederation, kept the Republic in alarm, forcing it to immense sacrifices. But peace had become for the nation, as the ark of the covenant, tho safety of which had been confided to the Government of Buenos Aires, and it was necessary to prove to mankind that the Argentine Confederation did not take up arms until after having exhausted the means of avoiding war.

 

Without making a boast of depravity or indolence, General Santa-Cruz could not remain deaf to the demands of the Government of Buenos Ayres, and consequently by a ministerial note of the 13th September, of the same year, he affected to agree to the withdrawal from the Southern frontiers of the emigrants who were dangerous to the peace of the Confederation; and in his turn pointed out those persons banished from Bolivia, and resident in Salta, whom it was expedient to remove to Tucuman. – General Santa-Cruz confessed it to be, “strict and rigorous justice to satisfy this reclamation, as measure useful to both countries,” and in this document, perfidiously written, not a single clause could be perused that was not calculated to lull the distrust of the Argentine Confederation. The Government charged with the Foreign Affairs, satisfied on its part by the desires of the Chief of Bolivia by withdrawing from Salta, the persons who were suspicious to him, and consequently expected a faithful return.

 

On the strength of the friendly assurances of General Santa-Cruz, and after previous notice of the departure of the Argentine Legation, the Charge’d’ Affaires appointed to the Government of Bolivia proceeded to his destination, with instructions to draw closer the ties of friendship between both Republics, to facilitate trade and mutual intercourse, to claim the restitution of Tarija, and arrange a treaty of limits, friendship and commerce on the basis of perfect reciprocity. All he could contribute to secure the peace and prosperity of each country was compassed in the instructions of the Envoy. – The Argentine agent had scarcely arrived at Salta, when he communicated the fact to General Santa-Cruz, not presuming that for any reason he should be detained on his route, nor that the beneficent views of his Government would be frustrated; but it was doubtless decreed in the dark councils of the Bolivian Chief, to keep himself at all risks aloof from public engagements with the Argentine Confederation, and impede the discovery of his intrigues until time should smooth the road for the development of his plan….

 

The projected revolution against the Government of Salta in 1833, in which General Satna Cruz was implicated, precipitated him on the course which he has ever since followed. In conjunction with the enemies of the late General Latorre, General Santa Cruz sent to Mojo, Lt. Col. Campero in October of the said year with 400 firearms, lances, etc., with orders for them to be taken to Llavi by Captain Manuel Molina, of the National guards of Tarija, for the purpose of arming 500 men, to aid Jujuy against Salta. The Commandant Ostiveros and the territorial Judge Paredes, assembled their men to obey Campero, who was accompanied by the Commandant of Dragoons of Taria, and Don Mariano Vasquez, Lieutenants Balladares and Carretro, Don Jose’ Guemez, with others of the factious, and sixteen soldiers; and the Bolivians did not retire to their territory until General Latorre was defeated and made prisoner…..

 

General Santa Cruz had gone too far to recede. It was necessary to consummate the malignant work he had undertaken and seek for adequate instruments to disturb the Republic. In effect at the end of the year 1834 and at the beginning of 1835, Santa Cruz redoubled his activity in epistolary correspondence with the heads of the unitarian faction residing in Banda Oriental. The Government of Buenos Ayres informed of the increase of their Clubs, the extension of their labours and of the ramification of their relations, did not cease to warn the Provinces to watch over their security, but it often stopped to investigate the reasonable foundation of the hopes of the disturbers, until it possessed evidence of the certain cooperation of General Santa Cruz….

 

The small number of the invaders and the scarcity of the warlike material, serve as the only subterfuge to the organs of the Bolivian Government in order to destroy the idea of its being an accomplice in such criminal manoeuvres; but time has shown that it has been a principle of the policy of that Cabinet to accumulate sufficient combustible in order to introduce anarchy in the adjoining Republics, with the view of prolonging division and uncertainty. As if the complete victory of one party who might organise them were an insurmountable obstacle to the ambition of the Bolivian Chief, he has only thought of civil war, because destruction was his object. The application of the same policy has been repeated in the anarachical expedition against Chili; and since no one can doubt the origin of the attempt and the means employed to consummate it, it is necesary to recognise in it the same spirit which animated General Santa Cruz in the incursions to this Republic, and give the evidence of facts as the only answer to such pitiful apologists….

 

The injuries inflicted on the Republic are not limited to the conspiracies promoted and protected by General Santa Cruz. Argentine property on the frontiers of Bolivia has been likewise attacked and plundered. The laws of the Province of Salta have also been annulled by the interposition of a Bolivian force who trespassing the line of division, has penetrated without disguise into the interior of the Republic. The Government will cite facts which cannot be denied, and it will be the duty of impartiality to assign them the place which belongs to them among the flagrant abuses of power, and among the scandalous violations of the law of nations….

 

This violence and outrage were from their nature so public that the unfortunate General Latorre, Governor of Salta, conceiving that he ought not to await the reclamation of the Government charged with the Foreign Affairs, hastened himself to acquaint General Santa Cruz with the offence committed, and to demand the restitution of the sum taken by main force in the territory of Salta; but instead of redress, which was never obtained, he saw it confirmed by the public report in Bolivia, that the Chief repeated without disguise his decision to refuse all communication with the Argentine Provinces, for causes highly humiliating to the Confederation….

 

After an accumulation of so many and such protracted injuries, the Government charged with the Foreign Affairs was fully sensible of the reasons it had to take up arms, and combat a power fatal to the Argentine Confederation without drawing upon itself the animadversion or the censure of other nations. The customary remonstrances, the explanations common even amongst nations the least polished had become useless forms, and negatory alternatives since there was a want of honour and good faith in the Government of Bolivia. Six years of deceitful assurances had destroyed the confidence which the words of the chief of a State inspire, howsoever little he may be solicitous of his dignity and of his honour.

 

The Government being reluctantly brought to this painful position, resolved to oppose a patient silence, sacrificing its own feelings rather than denounce to the nation the hostile policy of General Santa Cruz; it preferred the responsibility of a dangerous forbearance, to rousing the vengeance of the Republic, and take it for the state of peace of which it had so much need; and it preferred in fine leaving to time the vindication of its rights and the reparation of its injuries, to a premature war, which although provoked by an ambitious and audacious Chief, would certainly become unnecessary when his authority should legally expire.

 

Nor did the fraternal feeling of the Bolivians towards the Argentine Confederation give room to doubt of their sympathy with our principles; because a nation oppressed and without liberty never makes itself an accomplice in the crimes of its Government. The Bolivians bowing down under the yoke of a military despotism beheld with grief the ties severed which united them so closely with this Republic and their faithful attachment promised the Government charged with the Foreign Affairs the pledges of a change salutary to both States, as soon as the Presidency of that Republic should be transferred to patriotic and just hands.

 

General Santa Cruz in his character of Chief of Bolivia was on the other hand too weak to try his power openly on the Confederation without the risk of receiving a terrible lesson. The Argentine name could not sound in his ears without renewing in him the recollection of Pasco and Tucuman, where having been bound twice to the triumphal car of Argentine hosts, and mingled amongst the enemies of the independence of America, he bowed his neck before the standards of the Republic. The Government charged with the Foreign Affairs had carefully estimated the resources of that Chief, and felt assured that prudent counsel would prevent him from going beyond the circle of hypocrisy and intrigue. As soon as the Government charged with Foreign Affairs became convinced of the impotency of the influence of time and of experience, in order to cause General Santa Cruz to retrace his steps and abandon his hostile plan, it prepared to make him the last notifications in order to restrain him in his excesses, when this said General Santa Cruz cut short all pacific views by his criminal aggression against a friendly State, decreed in his cabal and organised in one of the ports of Peru. This scandalous act left it no other alternative but arms, to overthrow a power which was setting itself up with the sword of conquest in hand and threatening the independence of nations. The spirited conduct of the Government of Chili and the noble stand which it has taken in this contest, have awakened the sympathies of the Argentines who have never heard with indifference the cry of liberty against oppressors….

 

Peru being delivered up to the discretion of General Santa Cruz by the treaty of La Paz, and he himself disencumbered by a capricious fortune from the resistance offered to him by gallant Peruvians on the fields of Socabaya and Yanacocha, America saw him cast off the mask and set himself up as the disposer of the fate of that Republic. America saw him overthrow its political order, trample upon its fundamental laws, dissolve its social compact, and consume in the flames of victory the constitutional code of the Peruvians. America saw him turn to his own profit the rights of a nation, and with an autocratic power lord it over Peruvian liberty. – America has in fine seen him tear from his own country its independence, and sacrifice the glories and destiny of the Bolivians to the phantom of a political system, which is nothing else than the image of a degraded and enslaved people.

 

Ought the Argentine Confederation to remain an idle spectator of so great disasters, and of the aggrandisement of the fortunate soldier, who when confined only to Bolivia, caused the Republic incalculable evils? Shall it be silent in presence of so many excesses and await the fate which in the first days of his triumph, Santa Cruz destined to the State of Chili, letting loose upon it with Peruvian vessels and stores an anarchical expedition for the purpose of preparing the way for his domination? Will not the extension of his power seriously threaten the independence of the Confederation, and shall that which history records as the justifiable origin of complaints and of wars amongst the most civilised nations be viewed without anxiety? The Confederation has for a long time sacrificed its resentment at the malevolence and unfaithfulness of the Chief of Bolivia, to the desire of preserving friendship and peace with the Bolivians, but rather than share with them their misfortune, the Confederation will give them the best proof of its attachment by sharing with them in the effort to restore them their independence. Peace with Santa Cruz can be no longer reconciled with the security of the Republic. Since the Confederation cannot terminate its differences with him by the ordinary rules of justice, war is the means which is authorised by the law of nations. As a neighbouring and frontier power he has jeapardised by the abuse of force, the liberty, property, life and honour of the Argentines, and the Government could not cover its responsibility were it not to employ the use of arms to restrain him….

 

It is true that the principle of popular sovereignty being recognised by the Peruvian people as the only fountain of legitimate authority, that which the Peruvian Convention had deposited in General Orbegoso possessed this character; but when the people of Peru declared energetically against him, when they associated themselves with the valiant Chief who with more foresight or more intrepidity first rose against a debased and treacherous Government, and when all the Provinces with the exception of one only withdrew their obedience from him, reducing him to the necessity of seeking the assistance of a foreign force to subject them, his authority had expired, and every jurisdictional act, every attempt to protract his public existence is a criminal effort to set at naught the decision of his country and to chain it to his will….

 

The Government charged with the Foreign Affairs had not lost sight of General Santa Cruz in his manoeuvres with Peru it foresaw with too much reason that the premeditated Peru Bolivian Confederation, would seriously compromise the most vital interests of the Argentine Republic, since for its execution the feeling of those countries had been disregarded, and that the military despotism of the Bolivian Chief would be enthroned. And indeed how could the echo of diminutive assemblies composed of the mere representatives of the victorious Chief, be admitted us the expression of the sovereign will of Peru. To recognise as spontaneous acts of the Peruvians the decrees of the Juntas of Huaura and Sicuani, would be to make ostentation of uniting ridiculousness with ignorance of the most rudimental elements of the representative system. The fundamental law of Peru has been trodden on by individuals without any popular mission, who could scarcely enact the part of aulic council, chosen to authorise conquest, and to proclaim as the voice of the public the will of the usurper. Nor could General Santa Cruz in any other manner convert Peru into a patrimony of his own.- In no other manner could he submit Bolivia to a like humiliation, insidiously depriving it of its independence.

 

Since General Santa Cruz has given such glaring proofs of his ambition – since that on the ruins of three Republics he haughtily sets himself up to establish his domination, and at the same time is collecting troops on the frontiers of the Republic, no one will presume to dispute the Argentine Republic the right to hasten to restrain by force of arms, the excesses of power which has been engaged since its rise in anarchising the Republic, which extends itself by means of conquest, and which has just overturned the political balance of South America.

 

General Santa Cruz has placed himself beyond the reach of conciliatory measures. Having systematically converted the public interests to the promotion of his personal aggrandisement, he cannot offer to the adjoining States any secure pledges of a permanent peace, inasmuch as no principle can be durable unless it have for its end the happiness of the people, and be not supported by their sovereign will. General Santa Cruz caressing whatever extols him, and repelling whatever opposes his ambition, unwittingly proclaims war against the constitutional liberty of the Continent, and by establishing, as a dogma the most abominable despotism, forewarns the people of the necessity of guarding themselves.

 

If the Republic of Bolivia had not been yoked to the car of the conqueror, and losing its independence, did not form the first step of its tyrant’s throne the Argentine Confederation guarded by the intervening position of that State, were it disposed to make further show of its forbearance, might choose between the alternatives of neutrality or war. But there being established in it a Pro-Consul of the Protectorate, it has become the vanguard of the General Santa Cruz, and the sinister policy of his administration is an additional reason why the Republic should at once resolve to trust to force its defence and security. – What can be expected from a Government like that of Bolivia, who at the commencement of February of the present year, despatches an emissary provided with money and means of seduction to raise commotion in Tucuman, and in the following month sends fresh instructions to its public agent to make protestations of its good will and friendship to the Argentine Government?

 

All paths leading to a frank and dignified arrangement being thus obstructed by the duplicity and bad faith of General Santa Cruz and his minions, the Argentine Confederation is resolved not to lay down its arms until Peru and Bolivia recover their independence so infamously usurped. The prudence with which the Confederation has eschewed war when the offences committed against the Republic were in question, would at the sight of the fatal blow recently struck by the usurper against the sacred rights of Peru and Bolivia, justly merit to pass for pusillanimity.

 

The Government charged with the Foreign Affairs of the Argentine Confederation, is far from implicating the Bolivians in the hostile encroachments of its Government. The country of the Lanzas and of the Camargos, will behold with indignation the audacity of a Chief who educated in the ranks of the enemies of liberty has derided the patriotic feeling of its sons; a feeling which they gallantly envinced from the first days of American emancipation. And what friend of America will view without horror the antocrat of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, burying in dungeons the most intrepid patriots and calling about him the most notorious and obstinate foes of our political emancipation? What american will not burn with ire when he sees in the organs of the Protectorate, men who were not satiated with the blood of their fellow citizens, until the last cannon of Ayacucho announced the downfall of the domination of Spain? And these are the tools of the Protectorate! And these are the men who triumphantly parade over the ashes of the martyrs of Independence!

 

The Argentine Confederation endured injury whilst its forbearance left its dignity and honour unsullied, but this same honour forbids it to join in the train of the despot, when its sufferance would increase his rash ambition. General Santa Cruz shall answer to America for the calamities of this contest. He has offended the Confederation considering it without a Government, because it had not a unitarian one; he thought it weak, because he supposed it divided, and flattering himself with the belief that Argentine valour had been damped from the effects of its past agitations he has finally dared to insult the nation, preparing for it the fate of Peru. It is not then the Confederation which has commenced the war. – General Santa Cruz was the first to attack it; the Confederation defends itself in order to curb his ambition.

 

The Peruvians and Bolivians will soon learn that he who substitutes by his own authority absolute power for the temperate exercise of national rights, is unworthy to preside over a Republic, they will know in fine that in order not to entail remorse and infamy upon themselves by consenting to their own conquest, they must resolve to restore the empire of reason and of the law. And if it were necessary that the blood of the Argentines should be mingled with that of both Republics, to none will they cede the glory of this co-operation. The mercenaries of the usurper shall then, with grounded arms, have to proclaim, that the Andes are only a barrier for the slaves of tyranny.

 

Juan Manuel de Rosas.

Felipe Arana


Contra-Manifesto to that published by the Government of Buenos Ayres, stating the grounds on which it pretends to justify its declaration of war against the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy, August 1837 Top

Source: Peru-Bolivian Confederation. 1837. Contra-Manifesto to that published by the Government of Buenos Ayres. Lima: Eusebio Aranda.

The Government of Buenos Ayres having published a Manifesto setting forth the grounds whereon it justifies, as it presumes, its declaration of war against the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy, it becomes my duty, in the simple but nervous language of truth and with the irresistible logick of facts, to beat back the torrent of calumny which that Paper has let loose against Bolivia and against its Administration, with a degree of shamelessness whereof it would be difficult to find so scandalous an example in all the annals of diplomacy. In the melancholy catalogue of disorders which for so long a space of time have convulsed in the South-American Republicks and made them a spectacle to all the nations of the earth, not one will be found that, for perfidy, malignity and impudence, can be compared with that which the context of this treacherous and insidious document involves – treacherous and insidious, I say, in the highest degree, because, by a plausible detail of dates and names, it endeavours to give authenticity to things that are absolutely false and destitute of even a shadow of foundation; and because, resting, as it does, this cumbrous fabrick of iniquity on the signatures of two publick functionaries of the highest rank, in whom one would hardly suppose so criminal a contempt of truth, or such a pitch of audaciousness, as that they should expose themsleves to be solemnly convicted of falsehood in the face of the world, it seems to have been the intention of the Government of Buenos Ayres to steal unawares into the venerable Tribunal of Publick Opinion, and, by forestalling the suffrages of Nations and Cabinets, to give vitality, at least for a time, to its iniquitous imputations.

 

It will cost me no trouble to reduce these imputations to dust, and although an absolute denegation of the facts produced would be amply sufficent for that purpose, until those facts be made good by proofs, as reason and justice demand in every species of accusation, yet to set the base malignity of the conduct of the Buenos-Ayrean Government in a still clearer point of view, I shall super-add to the positive denegation of the excesses which its Manifesto attributes to my Administration, a few simple but luminous explanations that will unravel the tortuous intentions which dictated that paper. The Peru-Bolivian Confederacy fears not the war with which it is threatened. To say nothing of its vast resources, of the patriotism and fidelity, the moral and numerical strength of its warlike troops, the very impotency of the enemy, which the intrigues of the Chilean Cabinet have raised up against it, were sufficient to remove all idea of danger, and make it receive with a smile of compassion this vain and impertinent challenge, which ought, in charity, to be attributed to insanity. It knows that the very Government which threatens hostility, scarcely maintains its own existence by dint of sanguinary punishments and persecutions: that the very Government which provokes its indignation, can scarcely keep its tottering seat amidst the frightful precipices which the hatred of the people, the irritation of the savage tribes, the penury of its resources, and the immense deficiency of its revenues, have spread around it on all sides. It knows that the power of Buenos Ayres does, in fact, scarcely extend beyond the walls of the city; that the Provinces, fermenting with political passions, are given up to the horrors of desolation, despair and extreme misery – the fatal bequeathment of intestine discord. Finally, it knows that the Argentine towns confining on the Bolivian frontier, far from being imbued with that spirit of hostility which the Government of Buenos-Ayres blazons with so much emphasis, have constantly resisted the malignant suggestions, that would prompt them to burst asunder the bonds of fraternity which untie them to their sincere and loyal friends. All this is notorious ot the Confederacy and to the world at large. Yet, how strong soever may be the conviction that this war, proclaimed though it be with so much sound and fury, can end in nothing buy the confusion, and perhaps, the ruin of its authors, still it is a sacred duty, incumbent on every Government that respects itself and enjoys the consciousness of its own rectitude, to resist even the slightest attack that is made on its reputation, and remove at once from the minds of friendly Powers the doubts which an outrage of this description, unless repelled, might possibly sow in them. To these Powers has the Protectoral Government manifested, in the clearest and most explicit terms, the nature of its external policy – a policy founded exclusively in benevolence, in respect for legal authorities, in the interchange of friendly offices and the promotion of social and commercial relations. Ill would it beseem such a Government as this, to suffer the apocryphal criminations, the atrocious impostures, which have been heaped upon it in cold blood by the ready instrument of foreign machinations, to run on unchecked. It proposes, therefore, to lay bare the system of falsification whereby the criminal design, to which the Government of Buenos-Ayres has so ignominiously lent itself, is attempted to be justified.

 

The Manifesto preludes its accusations with a vague declamation about a supposed understanding between the Government of Bolivia and the Unitarians of the river Plate. Such a mere generality as this, deserves no other reply than the positive assertion, that it is a fixed rule of the Government of Bolivia, from which it has never deviated, to abstain from all connexion whatever with the factions into which the neighboring states are divided. It has never even entered into the examination of the questions that were discussed among them, nor taken any interest in the triumph of one party at the expense of another, nor ever desired anything else than the establishment of peace, harmony, and good order throughout the whole of the nation. But seeing that these inestimable blessings seemed to be banished for ages from that unhappy region, it deemed that it was but complying with the dictates of religion and humanity, when it afforded a friendly asylum to those who sought one within its territory, without inquiring under what banners they had fought, or what were the political dogmas which they professed. Over the whole extent of the interminable plains of the river Plate the most bloody of civil wars had spread its desolating sway – leaders succeeded to leaders in fields still red with the blood of their predecessors – a persecution of the most ferocious and implacable nature fulminated the direst vengeance against the vanquished: in circumstances of such appalling calamity as this, Bolivia opened her hospitable bosom to the afflicted, and this is the only part she has taken in the long-continued and cruel disputes, which have made the inhabitants of those regions a mournful example of unextinguishable enmity. Surely, the manifold confirmations, which, according to the Manifesto, poured into the Government from all quarters, of the criminal connivance of the Bolivian authorities at the attempts of the Unitarian conspirators, deserved, for the very gravity of the crime which they attested, that the Government, against whom these supposed machinations were directed, should publish them to the world? If these confirmations really deserve the name, that is, if they be facts of such a clear and intelligible nature as to constrain an impartial mind to the belief of them, why are they not detailed and specified? Why are they not authentically set forth, so as to leave the delinquent without reply or justification? The words which have just been quoted seem to promise as much: one would suppose that they served as some prologue to the publick exhibition of some one, at least, of these boasted confirmations. But nothing of the sort.

 

In the passage which immediately follows, it is observed that the publick prints edited under the compulsory influence of the Bolivian Ministry, discovered amidst satire and criticism the hostile spirit which prevailed in their Government against the Confederacy. Satire and criticism from no part of the political profession: they are not the means whereof a Cabinet avails itself, to express its opinions as to the line of conduct which other cabinets have thought proper to adopt: neither are they the language which befits a grave and dignified Government, such as that of Bolivia, in all its acts, has ever shown itself to be. Let the Government of Buenos-Ayres point out one single line in the publick prints of Bolivia that involves a sentiment, we do not say offensive, but in any way wanting of respect towards the Argentine authorities, or tending in the slightest degree to diminish the dignity and reputation of their country. But this, though challenged to the utmost, it cannot do, and consequently, but its silence, it must stand for ever self-convicted of having uttered a gratuitous and most stupid falsehood, for the sole purpose of carrying forward its plan of deceit and hallucination.

 

In every act of the President of Bolivia there was observable a perfect coincidence with the plan which was set on foot in Salta by the Bolivian Legation, before the battle of Tucuman, to foment the revolutionary faction under the specious pretext of mediation, which was opportunely rejected by the illustrious General Quiroga. It were not only a violation of the first principles of common sense, but a contradiction in terms, to say that he who offers is disinterested mediation between two parties that are destroying each other, foments one of those parties: especially when he intercedes on behalf of those who are in opposition to the party he is supposed to foment, and even carries his good offices so far as to snatch them from an ignominious death. Yet such was the conduct of the Government of Bolivia in the instance which the Manifesto so malignantly misrepresents.

 

The Government of Bolivia has yet to learn what the plan was that was set on foot in

Salta. What it really and solely bore in mind on that occasion, was the horrible scene which was presented to its sigh- a neighbouring nation, for which it cherished the most friendly sentiments, divided into two hostile factions which, blind with fury, precipitated themselves against each other, gave no quarter on either side, and seemed bent on reciprocal and total extermination. Then, indeed, the Bolivian Legation did feel itself bound, by all the sacred obligations of humanity, to stretch forth between the conflicting parties the beneficent hand of mediation; an office which in similar cases the most illustrious nations of the earth are proud to fulfil. It had, indeed, the satisfaction to save the life of General Aldao, who had fallen into the hands of the opposite party, but it found, to its sorrow, that all its endeavours to effect a reconciliation were utterly in vain, and its last proposal on the subject was committed to the flames by that very General Quiroga on whom the Manifesto bestows the epithet of illustrious.

 

General Aldao, rescued from the hands of the executioner by the interposition of the BOlivian Agenit, was presented to the Government, which at that time was resident in La Paz. There he was informed that he was at perfect liberty to dispose of his person as he though proper: and having asked for his passport and an officer to accompany him, both petitions were granted and he returned unmolested to his country. This simple and honest statement of the facts infers a conclusion of irresistible cogency, which falsifies and throws to the ground the towering argument that is raised on the supposed benevolence and fellow-feeling of the Bolivian Cabinet towards the Unitarians: for General Aldao, whose life and liberty were the exclusive achievement of the Bolivian mediation, belonged to the Federal party: a notorious proof of the impartiality which the Government maintained with respect to the intestine disputes of the Provinces. This individual is still alive and can attest to the truth of this statement.

 

After this imputation, so easily refuted, next in order comes the history of the correspondence which took place between the two Governments, with respect to the withdrawing of the emigrants of either country from their respective frontiers. The message does not deny that the Government of Bolivia readily acceded to this measure. It should, however, have added that the Government of Bolivia carried it into execution; that all the Argentine refugees were passed into the interior of the Bolivian territory, with the sole exception of General Lopez, who had just planted a mercantile establishment in Tupiza, and could not be torn away from it but to his utter ruin. It is therefore absolutely false that the Bolivian authorities insidiously shielded the enemies of the Confederacy. A criminal charge of so very grave a nature, unsupported by a single proof, can only serve to cover with infamy the party that produces it.

 

That an acredited agent of Buenos-Ayres was not admitted in Bolivia, is a fact which the Government of Bolivia confesses, not only without a blush, but with the consciousness of having discharged, in that non-admission, an imperious duty, prescribed by the universal practice of civilized Governments and sanctioned by the law of nations. When the Government took that step, it was influenced by three very powerful considerations, any one of which were amply sufficient for its justification. In the first place, the well-known character of the individual to whom those functions were committed. In the history of the misfortunes of Buenos-Ayres his name occupied the most conspicuous place. He was notorious alike for his intrigues and his domineering and turbulent disposition, and he had stamped in his writings his revolutionary and factions opinions. Within the precincts of Bolivia all was repose, and its authorities did not choose that it should be disturbed by the intrigues of a foreign agent sent expressly for that purpose. In the second place, this same envoy, before entering on the Bolivian territory, demanded guarantees for the security of his person during his residence therein. This of itself closed the doors of the country against him: for, besides being impracticable, unless the Government were to give him a guard to be in perpetual attendance on his person, the very demand was an insult on the dignity of the nation; for as much as it supposed its authorities to be impotent, and incapable of defending the lives of its inhabitants; while, on the other hand, it confirmed and justified the character, which he already bore throughout the whole of South America, of a forward and turbulent man. But the Government of Bolivia had another grounds, of a legal nature, for refusing to acknowledge and admit this envoy: namely, that the Cabinet which gave him his powers, and which he was destined to represent, was absolutely unknown to it. That the Government of Buenos-Ayres was authorized by those of the Provinces to conduct the foreign relations of the Confederacy, could not, in the apprehension of the Government of Bolivia, be anything better than a vague report. Officially it knew nothing of any such authorization: the Government of Buenos-Ayres had never given it any notice thereof; so far from it, all the international relations had been carried on, up to that time, with the Governor of Salta, nor had the Governor of Buenos-Ayres ever made the slightest objection thereto. It were a piece of irregularity unprecedented in the history of diplomacy, to acknowledge powers emanating from an authority which had not made itself known, and negotiate with a being whose very existence was, at least, a matter of doubt. But so frivolous a charge is too much honoured by this ample, peremptory and annihilating refutation: to which, however, it may be well to add, that he international relations which by such extraordinary means were sought to be established, were in the highest degree disadvantageous to Bolivia; whose points of contact are with the Province of Salta exclusively, whereas the Government of Buenos-Ayres had no authority to enforce the observance of any compact that might be celebrated between Bolivia and the Province….

 

Again, and a thousand times again, if it were necessary, we hurl a flat contradiction against that pompous fabrick of simulated facts, constructed with such laboured minuteness of detail, and yet utterly unfounded, and as incapable of application as though they were attributed to some hero of the mythological ages. A controversy of this nature will admit of no other logick. All is false! This is the only reply where of the charge is susceptible. It is false that the Government of Bolivia had an understanding with the enemies of General La-Torre: it is false that it despatched Lt. Col: Campero to Mojo, and that it furnished arms for 600 individuals of Jujui: it is false that the Bolivian authorities used any agency or cooperation in the movements of Ontiveros and Paredes, if indeed any such there were, or, in short, had any connexion with them of any kind whatever. When the Government of Buenos-Ayres shall present authentick documents in proof of the accusations contained in the above quoted paragraph, then, and not till then, will it efface the stigma of slanderer, with which it has thought fit to brand itself. In the mean time, slanderer is the title it deserves, and as slanderer does the Government of Bolivia hold it up to the execration of all honest men.

 

A diplomatic mission issued forth by a Government with which, up to that time, Bolivia had no relations whatever, and for a specifick negotiation in which Bolivia was merely passive, is the shallow foundation on which the existing Government of Buenos-Ayres has raised another imputation, equally odious and no less frivolous that the preceding ones. It is true that the Government of the Banda Oriental accredited an agent to the Government of Bolivia, for the purpose of negotiating, in union, a boundary treaty with the Brazilian empire: it is true that this proposition was, as it ought to be, favorably received: it is true, moreover, that it was agreed to authorize a Bolivian agent in Montevideo to carry on the negotiation. But it is false that this project had anything to do with the unhinging of the Argentine Confederacy, as the Manifesto is pleased to suppose; and it is false that it was covenanted on the part of Bolivia, as a condition of the compact, to demand a new organization through the medium of a general Congress. Thus, by a process of fiction, the practised alchymy of the Government of Buenos-Ayres, is a simple and natural act transmuted into a mysterious and intricate affair. If the Government of Bolivia abstained altogether from inviting the Government of Buenos-Ayres to join in that negotiation, the reason has been already stated: it had no right to conclude, in the absence of all authentick and official proof, that there resided in that Government the faculties requisite for cooperation. Besides this, Bolivia had merely to perform a secondary part, as associated o the Cabinet from which the project emanated. It neither did nor could do anything more than simply yield its consent: but it never entered into its contemplation to set up  Congress in the Confederacy, for the purpose of exciting the susceptibility of some and the ambition of others; it never so much as dreamt of dividing the Republick by invoking sacred names and seductive theories. Such windy commentaries as these could only proceed from that spirit of cynical effrontery, from that extravagancy of principles and conduct, which characterize the existing government of Buenos-Ayres, and which would only excite a scornful smile, if their path were not imbued with the blood of so many victims, and the days of their duration numbered by the scaffolds which they have erected. Let these facts be disproved, says the Manifesto, by all the arts of sophistry. It is not necessary to lay hold on that insidious instrument, to disprove them in the most peremptory and conclusive manner. Disproved they are, and disproved they must remain, until the immoral author of so much wickedness produce the authentick documents, from whence he pretends to have compiled this episode, shameful  indeed, but shameful for him alone who uses weapons at once so iniquitous and so despicable.

 

The same author is hereby challenged in the most solemn manner, to exhibit the proofs of that epistolary correspondence, which he asserts was maintained between the head of the Government of Bolivia and the ringleaders of the unitarian faction, which had taken shelter in the Banda Oriental. The head of the Bolivian Government protests in the face of the world, on the sacred word of honour, and whatever else is venerable among men, that this assertion is a foul calumny, wantonly fabricated by the author of the Manifesto, for which he has never furnished the slightest pretext nor given room for the remotest conjecture. The letter written from the Oriental Republick by one of the unitarian leaders, acknowledging the receipt of his inflammatory correspondence, is the mere creation of the most bare-faced villainy and the most audacious impudence. That General La-Valle, who has been heretofore pointed out as the author of this correspondence, should write to the Chief Magistrate of a foreign nation, on whatever subject and in whatever terms were best suited to his purpose, is quite within the sphere of possible events. But to impute the culpability of this act to the individual to whom the letter is addressed, when that individual has never written a single line to the person who chooses him for the object of his confidence, is to subvert not only the laws of morality but the plainest indications of common sense. It has already been said, and is now repeated, and be it known to all parts of the world whithersoever this paper shall find its way, that the head of the Government of Bolivia has never addressed a single letter, nor any written communication of any kind whatever, to General La-Valle, or to any of the individuals who figure in the unitarian party. We repeat the challenge: let an authentick testimony be produced against us, or let the Government which, unable to maintain so positive an assertion, is reduced to silence and obliged to decline the challenge, be proclaimed forthwith unworthy of the station it holds, and all the individuals who compose it, unworthy, also, of every society in which the laws of truth and decency are respected….

 

Such, however, is the force of truth, that even they who violate it are obliged, in the end, to acknowledge its triumph. By concessions, extorted by piecemeal and with evident reluctance, the very Manifesto vindicates the Government of Bolivia from the charges which it prefers against it, proving that, obedient to the precepts of international law, since it had not been able to prevent the abuse of its hospitality, it was both ready and willing to satisfy the party aggrieved by chastising the offender. “The Prefect D. Hilarion Fernandez” says the Manifesto, “instantly gave orders to the Government of Chichas, that if by any accident Lopez and his companions should return, they might be apprehended and brought prisoners to the Prefectures; expressing, at the same time, his surprize that his generous hospitality should have been so abused. The Vice-President of Bolivia confirmed these orders on the 19th of the same month, and affecting the deepest regret that the decorum of the Government should have been placed jeopardy, he ordered the Prefect to give the most satisfactory demonstrations of the neutrality of the Bolivian Cabinet as to the domestick disputes of the Argentine Republick” This confession destroys to its very foundations all that precedes it. The conduct of the Bolivian Government, according to the Manifesto itself, was the most ample and complete satisfaction that could possibly have been given for an innocent offence, and it was the very conduct which is observed, in similar cases, by all enlightened Governments.

 

True it is that the merit so reluctantly allowed, and yet so justly earned by a proceeding at once so noble, frank and generous, is attempted to be frittered away by imputing it gratuitously to Craftiness, and by vaguely alluding to insults and diatribes alleged to have been published in the ministerial gazette of Bolivia: but, as the offensive passages are not quoted, the party accused is absolved from the necessity of making any defence: for against indeterminate attacks what defence can be be made, and to facts which are not specified what answer can be given?

 

In the same way do we dispose of the following calumny, with which one of the solidest arguments, whereby the Government of Bolivia has cleared itself from all participation in the criminal enterprize of Lopez, is ought to be disfigured….Strang ratiocination, or, rather, absurd sophistry, to which iniquity, surprized in its dark machinations, betakes itself as its ultimate resource! It being too obvious to escape the notice of the most superficial observer, that the scanty number of invaders and their deficiency of military stores, proved beyond a doubt that Lopez and his accomplices relied solely on their own means, and that the Government of BOlivia could in no wise be suspected of having assisted them, the acknowledged scantiness is attributed to a principle of policy which clashes with the commonest rules that govern the operations of mankind. If the Government of Bolivia had merely proposed to itself to collect sufficient combustibles for introducing anarchy into the confining Republick, could it possibly have imagined that so small a number of invaders and so scanty a supply of military stores came under the denomination of sufficient? Would it have been so imprudent as to embark in an enterprize condemned from its very outset to a disastrous issue? The Government of Buenos-Ayres knows well enough, from its own experience and practice, what are the means of introducing anarchy into adjoining states, and ought not to have supposed that Bolivia, if she really had the intentions presumed, would fail to profit by the lesson which it taught her, when it armed the orientals one against another. It will excite astonishment in every corner of the argentine territory, the the Manifesto should attribute to the Government of BOlivia the excesses which took place in the Banda Oriental in 1836, when the publick voice proclaims the hand which armed Lavalleja, and which has fed for so long a time in that country the flames which are devouring it – when the head of the Bolivian Government declares, on his word of honour, that with the state of Uruguai he has never had, directly or indirectly, any other than that very trivial and transient intercourse which has already been mentioned – when the general execration of the Orientals is thundering down like an overwhelming torrent against General Rosas, the known, the publickly denounced, promoter of the civil war which is desolating its plains – when, in short, supposing in the Government of Bolivia the desire, which it has never entertained, for favouring the Unitarians, it had no need to direct its shaft at so distant a scope as Montevideo, having in its power so many individuals belonging to that party, being so near the cortices of the argentine revolution, and continually receiving from the Argentine Provinces confining on its frontier, solicitations, which it has constantly resisted, not, indeed, for the means of making war, but to be incorporated with the Republick that has been enjoying, for so many years, the sweets of peace and repose and publick order.

 

From a narrative no less tedious, complicated, and perfidious than the preceding ones, the Manifesto would fain infer that the Government of Bolivia, not satisfied with the perpetration of all the crimes which are so falsely imputed to it in the ignominious document, annulled the laws of the Province of Salta by the introduction of an armed force which, passing the boundary line, openly penetrated into the territory of the Republick. The Narrative we allude to treats of the measures which D. Fernando Campero, heir to the marquisate of Yavi, thought fit to take, in order to secure his property and save it from the rapacity of his opponents – a rapacity to which it was the more obnoxious, as the Province of Salta, where a part of those vast possessions is situated, has not for many years known any other law than the caprice of its chieftains, during the few intervals that have occurred between the sanguinary contests and frightful convulsions whereof it has been theatre. In truth, the only answer that ought to be made to this part of the Manifesto, is, that the events which it treats of did not take place in the BOlivian territory; that its authorities were not in the remotest degree concerned or in any way mixed up with the proceedings of Campero; and that where society is shaken to its very foundations, where even the native inhabitants have no security of any kind whatever, we ought not to be surprized if foreigners, who have dealings in so distracted and lawless a country, appeal to the character of Natural Rights and repel violence with violence. Such, in short, is the history of an affair, which the Manifesto presents to the world altered and exaggerated in all its features, and tinctured with the dies of its own protervity and falsehood….

 

It seems unnecessary, and, certainly, it would ill become the three Confederated Republicks and the Government which has the honour to preside over them, to dwell any longer on the answering of objections which no one has a right to make to them, and which, if any such right there were, would lose all their force, coming, as they do, from a source so impure, and acknowledged so to be in all the corners of the earth. And this very consideration would have spared us the trouble of replying to the infamous production which has called forth these observations, if we had not deemed it convenient to give a publick warning to the unblushing fabricator of so many calumnies, to the violator of so many rights, and the convicted perpetrator of so many crimes! For such, in truth, is the notoriety of his excesses, and so deep and universal are the censure and detestation which have been launched against him by all the presses of Europe, that it is sufficient to see his name at the foot of any document, to pronounce upon its contents: his signature stamps the character of the man upon the paper to which it is affixed, and makes it as worthless, as false, and as infamous as himself.

 

Hence, also, it is, that we have deemed it unnecessary to prefer against such a man and such a Government the just and well founded accusations, for which his external policy, to use a term which by no means applies to his conduct, has given room, and more especially as respects Bolivia. Nevertheless, we will mention one circumstance which sets in its true point of view the benevolent and conciliatory policy of the Bolivian Cabinet, even after it had received very serious wrongs at the hand of the Buenos-Aryean Administration, and was convinced of its incapacity and unbridled intemperance. In 1833, when General Armaza was sent to the Government with the credentials of Minister Plenipotentiary, not only were his functions disallowed, under the frivolous and puerile pretence of a verbal omission in the official communication whereby he was announced, but, after many other offensive proceedings, the Governor of Buenos-Ayres himself collected and marshalled a mob against the person of that Agent, which, led on by individuals in the employment of the State, attacked his habitation, pouring forth a torrent of the most filthy and obscene abuse, and would have put an end to his life, but for the precautions which he had happily taken, to secure himself against the fury of his assassin.

 

Such is the man who, from the corner of an habitation in which he hides himself from the sight of his country men, lest he should read in their aspects the publick anathema which condemns him, has dared to declare war against three millions of souls, united in one by the bands of fraternity and of the law, defended by an army whose recent achievements have signalized in the most illustrious manner the spirit which animates it, and presided by a Government on which the good-will and the blessings of all the friends of humanity, and of all who take an interest in the honour and happiness of America, rest with abiding efficacy. Happily that vain declaration of hostilities is nothing more than an impotent eruption of hatred and malice – the blood of men will never canonize the insanity of one of their deadliest enemies – the Argentine people will refuse, as they do at this day, to participate in his homicidal excesses – and instead of the scandal which this insensate being was preparing to offer to the world, arracing innocent men in arms for an holocaust to his criminal delirations, his own ruin will serve as a terrible lesson to those, who at the impulse of blind passion, or yielding to still baser motives, trample without remorse on the sacred rights of humanity, and the sacred laws of justice.

 

Palace of the Protectorate, Lima 17th of August 1837

Andres Santa-Cruz

Secretary General, – Casimiro Olan~eta

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