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Juana Manuela Gorriti

Juana Manuela Gorriti (1818-1892) was an Argentine writer with extensive political and literary links to Bolivia and Peru.

Juana Manuela Gorriti was born in Salta near the Bolivian border. She came from a wealthy upper class family, and attended a convent school when she was eight. Her father, Jose Ignacio de Gorriti, was a politician and soldier, and signed the Argentine Declaration of Independence on July 9th. She was also the niece of the infamous guerrilla Jose Francisco Pachi Gorriti. Her family was liberal, and supported the Unitarians during a time when Juan Manuel de Rosas ran the country. Juan Manuel was a conservative who was in office from 1829 and 1852, and used genocide to steal land from the indigenous people. In 1831, when Gorriti was thirteen, the federal caudillo Facundo Quiroga forced Gorriti and much of her family into exile, so they emigrated to Tarija, Bolivia. This is where she met future husband, Manuel Isidro Belzu.

Manuel Isidro Belzu was a captain in the Bolivian Army at the time. They married when she was fifteen, and she bore three daughters. As his career advanced, their marriage suffered, and he abandoned her in 1842 after nine years together. He later went on to become president in 1848, and was assassinated in office to be replaced by Marino Melgarejo. It was rumored, though unconfirmed, that Marino himself shot Belzu during a fake embrace in order take over as President, even though he acted as a dictator. Gorriti did not receive the divorce papers until fourteen years later, during the shelling on Limas port by the Spanish Navy in 1866.

Related websites

Exile and property.


Franciscano Military man.

Portal Informativo de SALTA

Ficcion historica peruana: Las escritoras comprometidas

Juana Manuela Gorriti

Loyola College

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