Joaquín Lenzina

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Monument to Ansina in Parque Artigas, Minas

Joaquín Lenzina, commonly known as "Ansina", accompanied José Gervasio Artigas throughout his life as his most loyal friend and follower.

He was born in Montevideo in 1760, son of black slaves. He was a waterboy who, still as a child, moved to the countryside where he became a payador, a gaucho wandering minstrel.

He enlisted as crew in a fishing boat which turned out to be a pirate ship. On discovering this, he fled to the Brazilian coast where he was captured and turned into slave.

He was bought by Artigas, who liberated him immediately. In this way a deep lifelong friendship was established between them. He participated in various battles alongside Artigas. When Artigas was exiled to Paraguay, Ansina accompanied him.

After the death of Artigas, Manuel Antonio Ledesma learned of the solitude in which Ansina lived and welcomed him to his home until his death in 1860. Unfortunately, due to the destruction caused by the war of Paraguay, his remains have not been found.