The Gauchos of Guemes procession
A short film to show the procession of the Gauchos of Guemes. This procession is held every year in Salta to celebrate the life of one of the most influential generals of the war of independence in Argentina against the Spanish royalists.
“Guemes was born in Salta into a wealthy family. His father, Gabriel de Guemes Montero, born in Santander, in the Spanish province of Cantabria, was a learned man and was serving as royal treasurer of the Spanish crown. He got his son to have a good education with private teachers who taught him philosophical and scientific knowledge of his time. His mother was María Magdalena de Goyechea y la Corte, born in Salta.
He was sent to study at the Royal College of San Carlos in Buenos Aires. At 23 he started his military career and took part in the defense of Buenos Aires during the British invasions of the Río de la Plata, where Güemes achieved notability when he and his cavalrymen charged and took over the armed British merchantman Justine, moored in shallow waters. After the formation of the first local government junta in the May Revolution of 1810, he joined the army destined to fight the Spanish troops at the Upper Peru, which was victorious in the Battle of Suipacha (in present-day Bolivia). He then returned to Buenos Aires and took part in the siege of Montevideo.
Güemes returned to Salta in 1815, and organized the resistance against the royalists (forces loyal to Spain) employing local gauchos trained in guerrilla tactics. He was appointed Governor of Salta Province and in November of that year, General José Rondeau, appointed leader of the Peru campaign to replace José de San Martín, suffered a defeat and attempted to take weapons from Salta’s gauchos. Güemes refused and the Supreme Director of the Provinces of the Río de la Plata, Ignacio Álvarez Thomas, sent troops to help Rondeau. Eventually an agreement was reached, by which Güemes would continue to lead his forces and would help the armies sent from Buenos Aires.”