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Saladero, a slaughterhouse and meat-salting plant. During much of the colonial era, gauchos slaughtered wild cattle on the pampa for their hides and tallow. During the eighteenth century, dried meat, exported to feed slaves in Cuba and Brazil, became another important product. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the slaughtering and meat-drying operations were moved from the Estancia to the saladero. Quick, substantial profits attracted many investors, including young Juan Manuel de Rosas, who later gained infamy as a ruthless despot.

These primitive factories depended more on manpower than on technology. Discarded meat, bones, and blood drew scavengers, emitted a stench, and created health hazards, including water pollution. Despite such primitive methods, saladeros south of Buenos Aires were processing some 250,000 cattle per year by about 1850. In Uruguay and the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, the traditional saladeros remained important livestock markets into the twentieth century. Buenos Aires, however, modernized its cattle-processing industry, and Frigoríficos (cold-storage plants) largely supplanted saladeros in the late nineteenth century.

See alsoRosas, Juan Manuel de .


Alfredo Montoya, Historia de los saladeros argentinos (1956; repr. 1970).

Jonathan C. Brown, A Socioeconomic History of Argentina, 1776–1860 (1979), pp. 109-114.

Additional Bibliography

Barsky, Osvaldo, and Jorge Gelman. Historia del agro argentino: Desde la conquista hasta fines del siglo XX. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Grijalbo Mondadori, 2001.

                                    Richard W. Slatta