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Execution of Santiago de Liniers.
|Location||Córdoba Province (Argentina)|
|Participants||Santiago de Liniers and other royalists from Córdoba|
|Outcome||Counter-revolution failed, leaders executed. Córdoba supports the Primera Junta|
When the May Revolution took place in Buenos Aires (modern Argentina) in 1810, the former viceroy Santiago de Liniers led an ill-fated counter-revolutionary attempt from the city of Córdoba. It was quickly thwarted by the patriotic forces of the newly formed Army of the North, led by Ortiz de Ocampo, who captured the leaders and dispatched them to Buenos Aires as prisoners. Fearing a political commotion, the Primera Junta ordered Juan José Castelli to intercept the party before the arrival, take command of the army and execute the prisoners by firing squad.
On May 12, 1810, Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros was deposed by the May Revolution, and replaced by the Primera Junta, requesting the other cities in the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata to join them and send deputies. Liniers was living by then at Córdoba. After being deposed, Cisneros sent instructions to Liniers to prepare a resistance against the revolution, granting him full powers to do so. A meeting of notable people from Córdoba, including Liniers, made a meeting to decide what to do. Only the Dean Gregorio Funes supported the actions of Buenos Aires, all the others elected to take arms against it.
The royalist perspectives were favourable: the Junta was not recognized by Paraguay, Montevideo was preparing to take actions, and Goyeneche and Nieto could bring strong reinforcements from the north. If Cordoba could stand, the fate of the Primera Junta would have been doomed.
The Junta decided then that the best strategy would be to act immediately against the counter-revolution in Cordoba. Francisco Ortiz de Ocampo prepared an army and headed to Córdoba, with orders from the Junta to take the leaders prisoners. A later order would request instead the death of the counter-revolutionaries. Although this ruling is commonly attributed to Mariano Moreno, it was supported and signed by all members of the Junta, with the sole exception of Manuel Alberti, who couldn't approve the capital punishment because of his religious titles.
There was no battle: all the forces gathered by Liniers deserted, and he was left alone. He intended to escape to the north and join the armies of Nieto and Goyeneche, but Ocampo managed to capture him and the other leaders. However, he didn't shoot them, but dispatched them as prisoners to Buenos Aires, following the first orders and a petition by the population of Córdoba.
Mariano Moreno did not accept this, fearing that the prestige of Liniers may cause a political commotion if held prisoner or executed in the city. He requested then the vocal Juan José Castelli to intercept the convoy, take command of the army and enforce the ruling. By this time, the bishop Orellana was spared from the death sentence.
Castelli got to the prisoners in time, and shot them without trial at Cabeza de Tigre.
After the patriotic success, the administration of Córdoba was purged of royalists, and Pueyrredón was designated as new governor. A following open cabildo choose Funes as the deputy decreed by the Junta. The army would keep the march to the north, to the First Alto Perú campaign.
- Abad de Santillán, Diego. Historia Argentina (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: TEA (Tipográfica Editora Argentina).