Yatasto relay

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Yatasto relay
Belgrano y San Martin.jpg
Meeting of Manuel Belgrano and José de San Martín at Yatasto
DateJanuary 1814
Location Yatasto relay, Salta Province
Participants Manuel Belgrano, José de San Martín and the Army of the North
Outcome Manuel Belgrano hands the command of the Army of the North to José de San Martín

The Yatasto relay (Spanish : Posta de Yatasto) was the handover of the command of the Army of the North by Manuel Belgrano to José de San Martín, in January 1814, during the Argentine War of Independence. [1] It is named after the Yatasto relay, a horse relay at the modern Salta Province, but modern historians consider it could have taken place elsewhere.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in Spain and the Americas. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Army of the North

The Army of the North, contemporaneously called Army of Peru, was one of the armies deployed by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata in the Spanish American wars of independence. Its objective was freeing the Argentine Northwest and the Upper Peru from the royalist troops of the Spanish Empire. It was headed by Hipólito Vieytes (1810), Juan José Castelli (1810–1811), Juan Martín de Pueyrredón (1811–1812), Manuel Belgrano (1812–1814), José de San Martín (1814), José Rondeau (1814–1816), Manuel Belgrano (1816–1819) and Francisco Fernández de la Cruz (1819-1820).

Manuel Belgrano Argentine politician and military leader

Manuel José Joaquín del Corazón de Jesús Belgrano y González, usually referred to as Manuel Belgrano, was an Argentine economist, lawyer, politician, and military leader. He took part in the Argentine Wars of Independence and created the Flag of Argentina. He is regarded as one of the main Libertadores of the country.



Buenos Aires, a colony city of Spain in South America, ousted the Spanish viceroy in the 1810 May Revolution and began the Argentine War of Independence, sending armies to other areas still loyal to the Spanish monarchy. One of those areas was the Upper Peru (modern Bolivia), but Manuel Belgrano prevented the royalist armies from marching to Buenos Aires with his victories at Tucumán and Salta. However, he was defeated when he tried to counter-attack, at Vilcapugio and Ayohuma. [2]

May Revolution 1810 revolution in Buenos Aires

The May Revolution was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. This Spanish colony included roughly the territories of present-day Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and parts of Brazil. The result was the removal of Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros and the establishment of a local government, the Primera Junta, on May 25. It was the first successful revolution in the South American Independence process.

Argentine War of Independence 1810-1825 armed conflict in South America

The Argentine War of Independence was fought from 1810 to 1818 by Argentine patriotic forces under Manuel Belgrano, Juan José Castelli and José de San Martín against royalist forces loyal to the Spanish crown. On July 9, 1816, an assembly met in San Miguel de Tucumán, declared full independence with provisions for a national constitution.

Upper Peru former region in South America that in 1825 became Bolivia

Upper Peru is a name for the land that was governed by the Real Audiencia of Charcas. The name originated in Buenos Aires towards the end of the 18th century after the Audiencia of Charcas was transferred from the Viceroyalty of Peru to the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776. It comprised the governorships of Potosí, La Paz, Cochabamba, Chiquitos, Moxos and Charcas.

José de San Martín, Carlos María de Alvear and other veterans of the Peninsular War reinforced the armies of Buenos Aires. They influenced the local politics, causing the Revolution of October 8, 1812. San Martín had a military victory at the Battle of San Lorenzo against a raid from Montevideo. When Belgrano was defeated, San Martín was appointed his successor as the commander of the Army of the North. Historian Bartolomé Mitre considers it the result of a plot by Alvear, who sought to remove San Martín from the politics of Buenos Aires by sending him to a distant mission. Later historians as Norberto Galasso consider instead that, despite the dangers, heading that army was an honour, pointing that Alvear sought to do so at a later point. Juan Canter points as well that the mailings of the supreme director Gervasio Antonio de Posadas to San Martín were highly respectful. [3]

José de San Martín Argentine general and independence leader

José Francisco de San Martín y Matorras, known simply as José de San Martín or El Libertador of Argentina, Chile and Peru, was a Spanish-Argentine general and the prime leader of the southern and central parts of South America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire who served as the Protector of Peru. Born in Yapeyú, Corrientes, in modern-day Argentina, he left his mother country at the early age of seven to study in Málaga, Spain.

Carlos María de Alvear Soldier and statesman

Carlos María de Alvear, was an Argentine soldier and statesman, Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata in 1815.

Peninsular War War by Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom against the French Empire (1807–1814)

The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, previously its ally. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.


San Martín left Buenos Aires in December, 1813. He had order to relieve Belgrano and send him back to the city, to be judged for the defeats in the Upper Peru. They knew each other before the meeting by mailing each other, with the intermediation of the Spanish José Milá de la Roca. Both of them shared their rejection to absolutism and belonged to the faction of the late Mariano Moreno. [4]

Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is legally bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature.

Mariano Moreno Argentine lawyer, journalist, and politician

Mariano Moreno was an Argentine lawyer, journalist, and politician. He played a decisive role in the Primera Junta, the first national government of Argentina, created after the May Revolution.

It is widely considered that they met at the Yatasto relay, to the point that the event is named after the place. Portraits and other art allusions use that name as well. However, historian Julio Arturo Benencia considers that the meeting could have taken place at the "Algarrobos" relay, two leagues to the west of Yatasto. The exact date in unclear as well, and could have been at either January 30 or January 17. [5]

Initially, San Martín resisted the instructions related to Belgrano: he considered that he was the best military leader in the army, and that his departure would have negative effects on the morale of the troops. Posadas insisted two months later, and Belgrano left the army. [6] As his health was delicate, he did not return to Buenos Aires, moving instead to Cordoba to await the news there. [7]

After leaving, Belgrano wrote again to San Martín, advising him to strictly abide to the local religious customs. José de San Martín was partially agnostic, and Belgrano feared that the royalists may use this as propaganda against him, as it was done before against Juan José Castelli during the ill-fated first Upper Peru campaign. [8]


Manuel Belgrano finally stayed in Luján to await the trial, and wrote his autobiography during that time. All charges against him were dismissed a short time later, as nobody formulated a definite accusation. Then, he was sent to a diplomatic mission to Europe. [9]

San Martín stayed only a couple of months in the Army of the North. He considered that guerrilla warfare was a better option to face the royalists, and entrusted Martín Miguel de Güemes to direct the operations in Salta, while the Army of the North stayed in Tucumán. [10] San Martín would move later to Mendoza, where he raised the Army of the Andes with Chilean expatriates. The successful crossing of the Andes allowed San Martín to avoid the harsh terrain of the Upper Peru and attack Lima by sea. [11]

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  1. Galasso, pp. 111-121
  2. Luna, pp. 43-111
  3. Galasso, p. 110
  4. Galasso, pp. 111-112
  5. Galasso, p. 112
  6. Galasso, pp. 113-114
  7. Luna, pp. 117-121
  8. Galasso, p. 114
  9. Luna, pp. 122-124
  10. Galasso, pp. 114-121
  11. Galasso, pp. 129-130