Ancafilú - Ancafilú

Personal information
Birth unknown value View and modify data on Wikidata
Death 1823 View and modify data on Wikidata
Home Tandilia system View and modify data on Wikidata
Professional information
Busy positions Chief of Indigenous Pampas (1820-1823) View and modify data on Wikidata
Conflicts Peace Treaty of the Miraflores Ranch View and modify data on Wikidata

Ancafilú was a principal chief of the Pampas tribes who inhabited the mountains of Tandil . From 1820 until his death at the end of 1823, he was among the indigenous people one of the main and most irreducible enemies of the Province of Buenos Aires .


Miraflores Pact

Border with the Indian.

Towards 1820 the situation of the southwestern border of the Province of Buenos Aires was peaceful. Immersed in an unprecedented civil crisis, the government sought an agreement with the indigenous people of the Tandil mountains that would allow it to secure that border. When the proposals came to the Indians, the caciques Tacumán , Tricnín , Carrunaquel , Aunquepán , Saun , Trintri Lonco , Albume , Lincon , Huletru , CHANAS , Calfuyllán , Tretruc , Pichiloncó , Cachul andLimay met in the Ancafilú tolderías on the banks of the Chapaleufú stream and authorized Ancafilú, Tacumán and Tricnín to deal with the government on their behalf.

The representatives arrived at the site of the negotiations, Francisco Hermógenes Ramos Mejía's Miraflores ranch, and in turn authorized the landowner to act as their spokesperson.

On March 7, 1820, the general commander of the campaign, General Martín Rodríguez , and Ramos Mejía, on behalf of the caciques, signed the convention called the Miraflores Pact, which ratified peace in the territory and declared it as the definitive dividing line. that reached by the landowners of the ranches south of the Salado River . The natives had to return the stolen cattle and would receive work on the ranch.

Article 4. The land that the landowners (have reached) on this border is declared by dividing line of both jurisdictions, without any inhabitant of the Province of Buenos Aires being able to go further into the territory of the Indians.
Article 5. The caciques are obliged to return the haciendas that they took and exist in this part of the mountains. The chief Tacumán will be in charge of herding said animals to the Miraflores ranch.


But after the treaty that was to ratify the existing peace, the situation rapidly deteriorated in all respects. The Sergeant Major John Cornell said years later: "But unfortunately the turmoil of the year 20 and mismanagement that had to treat them made displease time the government of General Rodriguez, and withdrew from Kaquel where they lived the tribes of Ancafilú, Pichiman, Antonio Grande and Landao, who lived peacefully entertained by Don Francisco Ramos Mejía, who remained without any fear in his stay with all his family and without exaggeration I will say, surrounded by these Indian women. "

Although Ancafilú was considered a friendly Indian, he participated in a parliament of tribes in Buenos Aires and Santa Fe that agreed to send a deputation of four caciques to agree with the Chilean leader José Miguel Carrera . Ancafilú and Anepán were among the four who at the beginning of October, accompanied by 16 captains, arrived at the Rosario camp ready to negotiate their help to Carrera, who received them amicably and fearing a pact from his ally the governor of the province of Santa Fe Estanislao López with Buenos Aires listened to their proposal and kept them in the camp: "I contemplate them and try to assure them in my friendship for what may be convenient. If it is not for San Juan we will go to Chile for the Indians to see what San Martín does i the huacho[O'Higgins]".

On November 24, López closed the peace treaty between Santa Fe and Buenos Aires in Tiburcio Benegas' ranch on the banks of the Arroyo del Medio . López, already estranged from Carrera, agreed to detain him with his soldiers and gave orders to march to his Dragons from Santa Fe. Carrera had news of that order and at midnight on November 26 he set out inland with 140 Chileans who accompanied him serving him. of guides the caciques.

When he arrived at the camp, he had news of the plans: "Yesterday at 12 o'clock in the morning I arrived at the Indian camp, made up of around 2000, entirely resolved to advance the Buenos Aires guards to loot them, burn them, take the families and herd the haciendas. A painful step. In my situation I cannot do without accompanying them to the Salto, which will be attacked tomorrow at dawn. From there we will return to continue to the awnings where I will establish my headquarters to direct my operations as appropriate. " . On December 3, 1820, José Miguel Carrera with his men and the Ranquele Indians of Yanquetruz and Pablo and the pampas of Ancafilú and Anepán, attacked the town of Salto and after taking the Guard of Salto they destroyed the population.

Pursued by the forces of Governor Martín Rodríguez, the first of Martín Rodríguez's Campaigns against the Indians , Indians and Chileans fled south until in the first days of January 1821 they stopped on the banks of the Colorado River . There Carrera organized a parliament with his allies and the Araucanians, after which in January 1821 he left for the north ( Córdoba province ) with 30 Indian escorts while the pampas returned with their men to their settlement in the Sierra del Tandil.

Martín Rodríguez expedition

For its part, Rodríguez's division crossed the Salado River heading south, camped on the shores of the Kakel Huincul lagoon and advanced to the Sierra del Tandil, where it attacked by surprise the tolderías of the Ancafilú and Anepán caciques on the banks of the Chapaleufú stream. But the stream had to be swam so the troops only managed to capture some children and women and cattle.

The spear Indians dispersed into small parties and then sent an embassy requesting to parley. Once the negotiations were open, Rodríguez returned the prisoners and their herds, leaving the caciques to appear in a few days. The plan of the tribes consisted of incorporating 300 lance Indians into the column as allied troops and directing Rodríguez's forces to a trap, but the chief Juan Landao betrayed them. Only the chief Pichiloncó tried to attack Rodríguez but was defeated and suffered 150 casualties. [ 1 ]

The Indians again asked for parliament, but when they met with Rodríguez's envoys, they assassinated them near a lagoon known since then as Lagoon de la Perfidia . With the semi-rebellious army, Rosas, who resigned his commission and proposed to return to his stay in Los Cerrillos and certain that it was useless to continue operations, Rodríguez resolved to retreat to Kaquel Huincul, [ 2 ] while the pampas (among them Ancafilú, Catriel, Antonio Grande, Pichimán and Pichiloncó) gathered and moved to the Sierra de la Ventana and Pillahuincó.


In Miraflores, Ramos Mejía protested against what he considered a flagrant violation of the Miraflores Pact by the Government. From the fortress of Kaquel Huincul Rodríguez ordered for his part that all the Indians who worked in the ranch and Ramos Mejía himself be detained, accusing them of being the ones who provided " the other Indians with news that favors them for their excursions " and that there " it is where the plans of hostilities against the province are projected ".

While Ramos Mejía was transported handcuffed on horseback and his family locked in a cart, the Indians were arrested and 80 of them had their throats cut. No evidence was found linking Ramos Mejía or the Indians of his lands with the malones or that they represented a threat to the border. [ 3 ] Cornell would affirm that the incursion was a failure that "... did not produce greater results, if not on the contrary, more willingness in the Indians to wage war on us and not a little for having brought Don Francisco prisoner in the same army. Ramos Mejía with the entire tribe of peaceful Indians who had their tolderías in his Miraflores ranch. "

Indeed, many peaceful caciques, among them the pampa chief Curu-Nahuel (called Curunau, black jaguar, panther) who lived in the vicinity of Miraflores between 1805 and 1835 , [ 4 ] Cachul's father, and the pampa chief Calfugán, they joined Ancafilú against the province.

The gaucho José Luis Molina , Francisco Ramos Mexía's foreman at his Miraflores ranch, had friendship with the caciques Antonio Grande, Ancafilu and Pichimán, so he went with them joining one of their women. [ 5 ] In April 1821, a group of 1,500 spearmen led by José Luis Molina destroyed the nascent town of Dolores and herded about 250,000 head of cattle.

Pedro Andres Garcia

In 1821 the Expedition to the Sierra de la Ventana took place under the command of Colonel Pedro Andrés García . The purpose of the Commission was to assess the situation on the border and, once Carrera's threat ended, reach an agreement with the Indian tribes. While she was being detained in the Guardia de Lobos , the friendly cacique Antiguan was sent who transmitted the peace proposal to a conference of caciques.

Chiefs Pablo, Calimacú and Ancafilú, among the main ones, opposed the agreement, maintaining "that they had been informed through many channels that the government was trying to surprise and attack them that therefore they believed they should take up arms and that they certainly would have done so. if he [Antiguan] hadn't arrived . "

Antiguan argued that the proposal that he considered sincere should be accepted "because there were no longer Carreras or Ramírez who had compromised them, lacking everything they had been offered and that today the free government of those enemies would apply all its forces to destroy them and would achieve it very quickly. " and that the war would cause " the loss of their trade, that of many consumer articles, among them that had already been made as basic necessities, the restlessness and continuous agitation in which they lived fleeing from some and fearing others " .

Finally, the main and oldest chief, Lincón , intervened, saying "that anyone who was not in favor of the opinion of the peace previously agreed upon and requested by the government of Buenos Aires should withdraw at the moment of that meeting with all his own, that they would put into execution their hostile plans against the province that they would also put their own to chastise the aggressor faction and to make a solid and permanent peace that would provide a perpetual peace for their families that for some time they had not enjoyed because of the wicked, " which decided voting.

Finally, there would be a meeting with García de los ulmenes or main pampas Neculpichuy, Pitrí, Lincón, Avouné, Pichiloncó, Califiau, Anepán, Ancaliguen, Cachul, Llaneueleu, Epuan, Huilletrur, Chanabilú, Catrill, Chañapan, Trignin, Curunacummena and A , and the conas or captanejos Antiguan and Catrillan, and the Huilliches Niguiñilé, Quinifoló and Pichincurá, at the head of all their troops. [ 6 ] Of those present at the first assembly, only Ancafilú would stubbornly remain out of the agreement:

"The chief Ancafilú, one of the chieftains of this tribe, and one of the main ones due to his seniority, military forces and proven value in his raids, did not meet the treaties, despite having been invited by all the chiefs, and repeatedly by the principals or ulmenes, whom he did not want to obey. The cause of this conduct was to us before we started this well-known Commission; We expected this result because of the antecedents that we had, which was one of the opposites to make peace, and in cahoots with the Ranquel chief Pablo, who was the most tenacious, and the main of the dissidents. We knew that he was opposed to entering the league again, and it was regular for him to follow his opinion and not join, until the latter entered into relationships. Ancafilú conserved, and still conserves, an irreconcilable hatred against the Province, since the expedition of the year 20, as one of those who were attacked and surprised in their tolderías, on the banks of the Chapaleofú stream, and the one who waged the war of intrigues for take revenge for the surprise, and he had vowed not to cease his projects until he succeeded.
Expedition to the Sierra de la Ventana, Colonel Pedro Andrés García.

Ancafilú withdrew but soon attacked again. In 1823 a malón commanded by Ancafilú and Pichimán, with the help of some renegade gauchos who served as guides to the ranches with more cattle, entered the fields of Magdalena, where they collected a herd that the calculations of the time estimated at one hundred and fifty a thousand animals, being pursued by the blandengues , forces of Colonel Domingo Soriano Arévalo and Miguel Cajaraville and a picket of the Colorados del Monte under the command of Juan Manuel de Rosas . The government troops commanded by Arévalo and guided by the baqueano Juan Francisco Olmos They caught up with the Indians and the gigantic herd near the Arazá lagoon (Castelli district) on November 3, 1823.

There an encounter was locked for several hours, because the Indians were slowed down in their retreat by insisting on taking their huge booty of cows. In successive attacks the soldiers inflicted heavy casualties on the Indians until they disbanded. Ancafilú and 60 of his men died in the action, and more than 80,000 head of cattle were rescued.

The Indians, in their deliberations on returning from the malón, blamed the contrast on the renegade guides. Some of them were slaughtered, while the main one, called the gaucho José Luis Molina, was able to escape thanks to his excellent horse that put him in Fort Kakel Huinkul, where his commander, Major Cornell, had to defend him again, now from the white settlers who wanted to lynch him for his collaboration with the caciques in the preceding malón.

It should be noted that Rosas was deeply acquainted with the indigenous world, spoke Araucanian correctly in their Pampa and Ranquel dialects and knew about their customs and needs, and also strictly respected the agreements made to guarantee their protection if they lived in peace with the Christians. At the same time, he had been employing Indians for years to work both in his rural establishments and in those he administered. His prestige was such that the Unitarians from Buenos Aires to mock and discredit him in their newspapers called him precisely Ancafilú .

See also


  1. Analía Correa, Border relations in the lands of Monsalvo and Dolores, first half of the XIX .
  2. Saber and spear. Page 12-14. Written by Alberto Jorge Lamas. Published by Editorial Dunken, 2007. ISBN 987-02-2292-7 , 9789870222927
  3. In his report of February 4, 1821, Captain Ramón Lara informed the governor that when he raided the stay as ordered, he had found only six rifles, three of them useless and the remaining ones with evident lack of use, which represented an arsenal clearly insufficient not only for the activities of which they were accused but for any stay in what was the border zone.
  4. Its territory was comprised between Tandil, Olavarría and El Salado, in front of the Los Cerrillos de Juan Manuel de Rosas establishment, located in Monte.
  5. Baqueano Molina was a soldier of the Horse Grenadier Regiment . Years later he was pardoned and incorporated into the army, participating as captain of baqueanos in the expeditions of 1826 and 1827 of Colonel Federico Rauch to the Sierra de la Ventana . During the war in Brazil it would have an outstanding role in the combat of Carmen de Patagones.
  6. García counted 2,590 men, and registered their weapons: 246 lances, 159 sabers, 43 third (many useless and most of the tools in the hands of deserters) and 2,145 boleadoras and daggers, which, contrary to what is usually accepted, the main weapon it wasn't the spear. One division, that of Anepán, had 260 men, 19 lances, 15 sabers, 13 third (he had the most) and 214 boleadoras and daggers. Ancafilú's forces would probably be similar.
  • Adriana Pisani, Historias del Salado y la Bahía: chronicles and documents of the past , Editorial Dunken, ISBN 987-02-1989-6 , 9789870219897
  • Meinrado Hux, Caciques puelches, pampas and serranos , Marymar Ediciones SA, 1993
  • Meinrado Hux, Caciques borogas y araucanos , Marymar Ediciones SA, 1992
  • Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna, The ostracism of the Carreras , Imprenta del Ferrocarril, 1857
  • Clemente Ricci, Francisco Ramos Mexía: An Argentine heterodox as a man of genius and as a forerunner , Buenos Aires, Imprenta Juan H. Kidd y Cía, 1923.
  • Priora, Juan Carlos, Francisco Ramos Mexía , University Dialogue Magazine, 2002.
  • Manuel Torres Cano, Railroad stories south of the Salado , EUDEM, ISBN 987-1371-29-2 , 9789871371297

external links