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Camila O'Gorman

'''Camila O'Gorman''' (1828-1848) was a wealthy socialite and figure of scandal in 19th century Argentina. Her execution during the last stages of pregnancy caused an international uproar and contributed to the political demise of Argentine governor Juan Manuel de Rosas.

Early life

Camila was born in Buenos Aires, the youngest daughter of Adolfo O'Gorman and his wife, Joaquina Ximenez Pinto (d.1852). She was the second-to-last of six children in an upper class family of mixed Irish, French, and Spanish descent. Typical of powerful families in Argentina's post-colonial era, two of her brothers went on to pursue respectable careers. One was as an ordained a priest of the Jesuit Order, and the other as police officer and the eventual founder of the Buenos Aires Police Academy. Camila was considered a pillar of polite society, frequently dancing at formal balls at the Presidential Palace. She was also a close friend and confidante of Rosas' daughter.

A public affair

In her late teens, Camila was introduced to Father Ladislao Gutierrez, a Jesuit priest who had attended seminary with her brother. Father Gutierrez came from a similar background; his uncle was the Provincial Governor of Tucuman. He had been assigned as the O'Gorman family's parish priest and was soon being frequently invited to her family's estate. They soon began a clandestine affair.

In 1847 Camila and Fr. Gutierrez eloped on horseback and found refuge in Corrientes Province, which was then under the control of a Leftist warlord hostile to the regime of Juan Manuel de Rosas. As the scandal broke, the supporters of Rosas suggested that she had been kidnapped. Rosas' exiled political opponents, including future President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, declared that Rosas' tyranny was responsible for the moral corruption of Argentine womanhood.

Arrest and execution

They were tracked down and arrested by an Irish priest named Fr. Michael Gannon. To the shock and horror of all following the story, Camila claimed that it had been she who had initiated the affair and insisted on their elopement, angrily denying rumors that she had been raped.

On the orders of Governor Rosas, Camila O'Gorman and Fr. Gutierrez were executed by a firing squad on 18 August 1848 in the prison town of Santos Lugares de Rosas . Camila O'Gorman was twenty years old and was eight-months pregnant with the illegitimate child of Father Ladislao Gutierrez.


In the aftermath of their deaths, Sarmiento and his fellow Unitario propagandists changed tactic, writing about "the beautiful girl," "the doomed couple," and "the repression of love".

In Film

1910 - ''Camila O'Gorman, directed by Mario Gallo and starring Blanca Podesta in the title role. It was one of the first feature films made in Argentina, and is now lost.

1984 - Camila'', directed by Maria Luisa Bemberg and starring Susu Pecoraro in the title role, with Imanol Arias and Hector Alterio. It was Argentina's second nomination ever to an Academy Award (the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film).

Further reading

Coghlan, Eduardo A., Los Irlandeses en Argentina: su Actuacion y Descendencia , p. 420.

Julianello, Maria Teresa, ''The Scarlet Trinity: The Doomed Struggle of Camila O'Gorman against Family, Church and State in 19th-Century Buenos Aires.

Luna, Felix (ed.), Camila O'Gorman'' .

External links

Murray, Edmundo. "O'Gorman, Camila (1828-1848), figure of scandal"

(spanish) History of Santos Lugares prison

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Camila O'Gorman

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