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Martin de Alzaga (politician)


Martin de Alzaga , Spanish merchant and politician during the British invasions of the Rio de la Plata.

When in 1806 the first British Invasion came to Buenos Aires, he put his fortune at the service of the creole reconquest, organizing a group of conspirators and joining with other groups formed and funded by other prominent merchants, such as Saenz Valiente and Juan Martin de Pueyrredon. The invading General Beresford had ordered the confiscation of all arms in civilian's hands, but Alzaga who was a specialist in arms smuggling collected hundreds and installed secret gun-repair shops. He rented houses around the main square (Plaza Mayor) in secret, and from there they excavated tunnels to mine the Fort.

His organizational skills were notable; he had a strong will and natural leadership, but he was never popular. The wages for the volunteer swere paid for by pagados por Alzaga, from his own coffers. He rented the Perdriel Ranch, in present-day San Martin, where the volunteers trained. The British spy-network only heard about this place a few days before the start of the reaction, and was too late to attack Perdriel, only accelerating the fight for reconquest.

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