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Juan Manuel de Rosas established a repressive dictatorship over the province of Buenos Aires, from 1829 until his overthrow by Justo José de Urquiza in 1852. In addition to censoring the press and exiling political enemies, Rosas established the Mazorca, the terrorist arm of his political support group, the Sociedad Popular Restauradora. The term (meaning an ear of corn) symbolized strength through unity. Members tortured and terrorized suspected unitarians, especially during the extremely violent month of October 1840. The terrorists made a slit throat and public display of decapitated heads their trademarks. The Mazorca's terror was so widespread that it became a frequent theme in literature, appearing as a central theme in novels by José Mármol and Juana Manuela Gorriti.

See alsoArgentina, Movements: Federalists; Buenos Aires; Gorriti, Juana Manuela; Mármol, José Pedro Crisólogo; Rosas, Juan Manuel de.


John Lynch, Argentine Dictator: Juan Manuel de Rosas, 1829–1852 (1981).

Additional Bibliography

Adelman, Jeremy. Republic of Capital: Buenos Aires and the Legal Transformation of the Atlantic World. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999.

Gálvez, Manuel. Vida de Juan Manuel de Rosas. Buenos Aires: Claridad, 1997.

Gorriti, Juana Manuela. "The Mazorquero's Daughter." In Dreams and Realities: Selected Fiction of Juana Manuela Gorriti. Translated by Sergio Waisman. Edited by Francine Masiello. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Mármol, José. Amalia. Translated by Helen R. Lane. Edited by Doris Sommer. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Ramos Mejía, José María. Rosas y su tiempo. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 2001.

                                         Richard W. Slatta