Upper Peru

This article is about a historical region now in Bolivia. Alto Perú is also the name of a shanty town area just outside Lima, Peru (see Asociacion SOLAC).

Upper Peru (Spanish: Alto Perú) was the region in the Viceroyalty of Peru, and after 1776, the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, comprising the governorships of Potosí, La Paz, Cochabamba, Chiquitos, Moxos and Charcas (since renamed Sucre). It was governed by the Audiencia of Charcas.

Following the Bolivian War of Independence, the region became an independent country and was renamed Bolivia in honour of Simón Bolívar.

History of Occupation

In 1821, the Spanish colonial empire in America was falling apart because of the Napoleonic occupation of Spain and the troops of generals Bolivar and Sucre, who had already liberated Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador, were already approaching the Upper Peru region.

Fearing bloodshed that the libertarian troops could cause the local population, in June 1822 the three governors of Upper Peru departments gathered in Cuiabá (Captaincy of Mato Grosso, Brazil) and asked the governor to take sides with the Prince Regent (future Pedro I) to occupy the territory for the United Kingdom Brazil, Portugal and the Algarve. It was better (thought the governors) to be occupied by a monarchical character nation than to venture a fragile and uncertain republic.

Immediately, in July of that year, the governor of Mato Grosso sent to Upper Peru the troops stationed in the captaincy and closed the borders to stop the advance of the libertarian troops. He sent to the Prince the proposal of the local authorities and the dispatch order of the troops.

The letter reached D. Pedro I only in November 1822, when Brazil had already declared independence and, worse, Brazil was not interested in attaching that territory, because the new country was more concerned with pacifying the northern and northeastern provinces. Thus, the order given by the Emperor was to call back the troops (leaving the way clear for the libertarians to occupy these territories) claiming that "Brazil does not interfere in foreign affairs."

This episode is poorly documented, the curious thing is that the Generals Antonio Jose de Sucre and Simón Bolívar, knowing what was happening, managed to send diplomats in record time to Rio de Janeiro and these diplomats arrived even faster than the letter from the governor of Mato Grosso, so the result was that when he got the letter, the Emperor was already "head made" and the evacuation order was already given.

The Portuguese occupation in Upper Peru

The occupation occurred in the region Upper Peru (now Bolivia ) between the months of July-December 1822, which mobilized the Portuguese royal troops stationed in the Captaincy of Mato Grosso and occupied three of the Peru departments: La Paz, Santa Cruz de La Sierra and the so-called Department Maritmo (Atacama).

Further reading



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