Heredia Acosta, Alejandro (1788–1838)

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Heredia Acosta, Alejandro (1788–1838)

This Argentine military man and politician was born in Tucumán and educated in Córdoba. For his performance in the war for independence he was promoted to colonel and became one of the most distinguished leaders in the Argentine northeast. He reached the cusp of his power when Juan Manuel de Rosas became governor of the province of Buenos Aires but fell victim to Rosas's plots and corruption.

In July 1816 the Tucumán Congress, which had just declared the independence of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, entrusted Heredia with the responsibility of reestablishing order in the neighboring province of La Rioja. Because of his success, subsequent central governments looked to him to control upheaval in the neighboring region. In 1820 he played a significant role in what was known as the Mutiny of Arequito, which blocked the federal government's attempt to use the army to pursue the northern centralists. This was to earn him enemies among the federalist group. Nevertheless, in 1829 he faced off against the centralists and allied himself with Rosas, by then governor of Buenos Aires. As a result Heredia was appointed governor of Tucumán and Salta two years later. His leadership was strengthened in 1834 following the assassination of the Rioja leader Facundo Quiroga, his only rival of standing in these provinces.

This power aroused distrust in Buenos Aires. Rosas put him in charge of the Northern Army in 1837, when war broke out with the Peru-Bolivia Confederation over control of Tarija, Jujuy, and Salta. But Rosas did not send the necessary reinforcements, alleging that there were other urgent needs on the coast and in Uruguay. Despite achieving some partial successes, Heredia's troops were ill equipped and poorly trained and were finally defeated. In the retreat, Heredia was overthrown in an ambush and murdered by troops of his own nation. It is not known who was responsible for the attack.

See alsoRosas, Juan Manuel de; Tucumán Congress.


Bulgheroni, Raúl. Argentina: Imagen de un país: Summa andina. 5 vols. Buenos Aires: Bridas, 1986–1997

Halperín Donghi, Tulio. De la revolución de independencia a la Confederación rosista. Buenos Aires: Paidós, 2000.

Pavoni, Norma L. El Noroeste Argentino en la época de Alejandro Heredia. Vol. 1: La Política. Tucumán, Argentina: Ediciones Fundación Banco Comercial del Norte, Colección Historia, 1981.

                                    Marcos Novaro

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Heredia Acosta, Alejandro (1788–1838)

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