Mariano Melgar (1791-1815) was a Peruvian patriot, poet, artist, and warrior for the cause of independence from Spain. As a poet, Melgar became one of the most prominent romantic poets of Peru in the 19th century history, best known for his famous love yaravies. He is often considered like the Ecuadorian Jose Joaquin Olmedo and the Cuban Jose Marti, both of whom were ardent patriots of their countries.
Mariano Melgar was born in Arequipa on August 10, 1790 to Don Juan de Dios Melgar and Dona Andrea de Valdivieso, members of distinguished families of the time. He was baptized two days after birth at Arequipa's San Francisco cathedral.
At the age of twenty his parents sent him to Lima to study law. The desire for independence in Lima was very strong and the country had promulgated a liberal constitution in 1812. Melgar became very well educated in the fields of history, geography, philosophy and mathematics. After briefly teaching what he had learned in Lima, he decided to return to Arequipa, only to find out that Silvia had been persuaded by her parents to be against a relationship with him. Melgar, in desperate sadness, left for Majes (west of Arequipa). Eventually, he established contacts with other independence revolutionaries of the time. In 1814, the revolution of Mateo Pumacahua took place in Cusco, which upset the apparent tranquillity of the Spanish viceroyalty of Peru and prompted Melgar to join the independence cause and march to combat. After winning the combat of Apacheta in Arequipa, the army marched towards Puno and fought the Battle of Umachiri, in which Melgar fought bravely directing the revolutionary army's artillery. Unfortunately, the patriots were defeated and made prisoners, including the young Melgar. The Spanish General Ramirez, after holding Melgar captive for some time, ordered his officers to place him before a firing squad. Melgar died in the morning of March 12, 1815, just before turning 25.
Poetry and letters by Melgar
Mariano Melgar's biography from adonde.com
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