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Jujuy Exodus

Topics: Argentine War of Independence

The Jujuy Exodus was an episode of the Argentine War of Independence. It was a massive voluntary of people from the province of Jujuy, led by General Manuel Belgrano, in charge of the revolutionary forces that were battling an army loyal to Spain.

The loyalists, led by General Pio Tristan, were advancing south with 3,000 troops from today's Bolivia, into the northwest of Argentina (through Humahuaca). The revolutionaries were outnumbered 2 to 1, demoralized, badly armed, far from the assistance of the central government, and facing an outbreak of malaria without medication. In addition, many of the locals, especially of the higher classes, resented the arrival of forces from Buenos Aires and were ready to defect.

Belgrano, faced with the prospect of total defeat and territorial loss, ordered all people to pack their necessities, including food and furniture, and follow him, in carriages or on foot, together with whatever cattle and beasts of burden could endure the journey. The rest was to be burned, so as to deprive the loyalists of resources, following a strict scorched earth policy. On 1812-07-29 Belgrano asked the people of Jujuy to "show their heroism" and join the march of the army under his command "if, as you assure, you want to be free". The punishment for ignoring the order was execution and the destruction of the defector's properties. Belgrano labored to win the support of the populace, and later reported that most of the people had willingly followed him without the need of force.

The exodus started on 23 August and gathered people from Jujuy and Salta; people travelled south about 250 km, finally arriving at the banks of the Pasaje River, in the province of Tucuman, on the early hours of 29 August.

The Exodus is commemorated in Jujuy by traditionalist groups with an Evocative March, every 22 August since 1955.


El Exodo Jujeno at Jujuy.com (in Spanish).

Manuel Belgrano - El militar - Argentine Ministry of Education.

El Exodo Jujeno - Portal of the province of Salta.

Marchas Evocativas - Marches commemorating the Exodus. Website of the Gaucho Association of Jujuy.

El exodo jujeno, posted to the Reconquista Popular e-mail list.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Jujuy Exodus