The Breña Campaign, a demonstration of peasant courage

The Breña Campaign is remembered in Peruvian history to mark the Pacific War ended. It was executed by peasants from the Peruvian highlands without any type of preparation and was directed by Marshal Andrés Avelino Cáceres, who years later would be known as the «Andes‘s Warlock». This campaign included the Sangrar, Pucará, Marcavalle, Concepción, and San Pablo battle.

These armed conflicts took place between 1881 and 1883. They were three years of inexhaustible struggle in which the rural population of the Andean zone defended these lands from the Chilean troops with their lives. Before the Chilean declaration war on April 7th, 1879, the people of Canta gathered in the Plaza de Armas offered the government of Manuel Pardo all their moral, material, and personal resources.


Breña Campaign farmer Source:tierra-inca

Campaign Development

Source: readitiger

In May 1881, after the Chileans entered Lima and Cáceres lost during the Battle of Miraflores, he established his guerrilla operations center in Jauja. He took advantage of his knowledge of the area and his command of Quechua to form an army made up of mostly rural people. His improvised squad of four thousand moderately uniformed and armed men gave him the victory over Chile in June of the same year in the confrontation that took place in the highlands of Canta.

The following year, on February 5, 1882, the Peruvian troops would obtain a new victory over Chile in the confrontation in Pucará. After this fact, Cáceres would take a break to reorganize his troops in Ayacucho and was able to gather several peasant communities for the fight. The sorcerer of the Andes organized three attacks on the Chilean troops in the areas of Pucará, Marcavalle, and Concepción, where the Chileans were killed and later forced to leave the Junín department.

Since the beginning of the Breña Campaign, the Peruvian troops have been making many victories against the Chileans. However, due to a lack of weapons and soldiers, the Chileans achieved the final victory. For this reason, in the middle to 1882, Peru was divided between those who wanted peace and those who still wanted to continue fighting against the Chileans.

Peace Declaratory

After a series of events that included the assassination of Leoncio Prado Gutiérrez, of former President Mariano Ignacio Prado son and the appeal of the Peruvians to US intermediaries, on October 20th, 1883, the «Ancón’s Treaty « was signed, the peace manifesto that ended a disastrous and devastating war that lasted four years and left the country in an absolute crisis.

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