Hero of the North

If the persistent guerrilla attacks by the “infernal” gaucho cavalry led by General Martín Miguel de Güemes had not kept the Spanish troops occupied on the northern front of the War of Independence, it is very possible that General José de San Martín would have been unable to pull off his trans-Andean surprise invasion of central Chile. Every year, his death in 1821 is mourned by gauchos who spend the night of June 16 at the foot of his statue in Salta City, and his memory is exalted by them and other residents during a big parade the following day.