The Caudillo of the Andes: Andres de Santa Cruz by Natalia Sobrevilla Perea (University of Kent, Canterbury)
Born in La Paz in 1792, Andres de Santa Cruz lived through the turbulent times that led to independence across Latin America. He fought to shape the newly established republics, and between 1836 and 1839 he created the Peru-Bolivia Confederation. The epitome of an Andean caudillo, with armed forces at the center of his ideas of governance, he was a state builder whose ambition ensured a strong and well-administered country. But the ultimate failure of the Confederation had long-reaching consequences that still have an impact today. The story of his life introduces students to broader questions of nationality and identity during this turbulent transition from Spanish colonial rule to the founding of Peru and Bolivia.