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Vedia y Mitre, Mariano (1881–1958)

Vedia y Mitre, Mariano (1881–1958)

Mariano Vedia y Mitre (b. 1881; d. 19 February 1958) Argentine politician and writer. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Vedia y Mitre earned a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires. He entered education administration, becoming supervisor of secondary schools (1909–1911) and rector of the Colegio Bernardino Rivadavia (1910–1916). At the same time, from 1908, he was professor of history at the University of Buenos Aires and wrote a series of lesser historical works dealing with nineteenth-century Argentine history. Vedia y Mitre entered municipal politics dramatically in November 1932 when he was made intendente (mayor) of Buenos Aires, a position he occupied until February 1938. A controversial administrator, he ran roughshod over the city council, signed many contracts with foreign transport and public works companies, and ruled in an autocratic style befitting the conservative and fraudulent political spirit of the decade.

Vedia y Mitre made his mark by breaking the political logjam blocking Argentina's transportation system. The Buenos Aires Transport Corporation was set up to regulate all public transportation (subways, buses, tramways, and local railways). He resolved a long-standing dispute with electricity companies over service charges, had major soccer stadiums and a riverside bathing zone and promenade built, and widened the celebrated Avenida Corrientes. He crowned his achievements with a massive obelisk, modeled on that in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, built in the center of a construction project for the city's widest avenue to commemorate the four-hundredth anniversary of the founding of Buenos Aires in 1536. Vedia y Mitre oversaw one of the last major public works and construction waves in Buenos Aires, in an effort to fulfill the Argentine elite's ambitions to inhabit one of the world's great capitals. He died in Montevideo.

See alsoArgentina: The Twentieth Century .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

David Rock, Argentina, 1516–1982: From Spanish Colonization to the Falklands War (1985; rev. ed. 1987), chap. 6.

Richard Walter, Politics and Urban Growth in Buenos Aires: 1910–1942 (1993), esp. chaps. 9-10.

Additional Bibliography

Béjar, María Dolores. El regimen fraudulento: La política en la provincia de Buenos Aires, 1930–1943. Buenos Aires: Siglo Veintiuno Editores Argentina, 2005.

Elguera, Alberto, and Carlos Boaglio. "Vedia y Mitre, el intendente del obelisco." Todo Es Historia 29, no. 342 (Jan. 1996): 46-66.

                                        Jeremy Adelman

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