On this day July 28, 1821

José de San Martín declares the independence of Peru from Spain.

In 1817, he crossed the Andes from Mendoza to Chile, and prevailed over the Spanish forces after the Battle of Chacabuco and Battle of Maipú (1818), liberating Chile. San Martín seized partial control of the viceroyalty’s capital (Lima) on July 12, 1821 and was appointed Protector of Perú.

Peruvian independence was officially declared on July 28, 1821. After a closed-door meeting with fellow libertador Simón Bolívar at Guayaquil, Ecuador on 22 July 1822, Bolívar took over the task of fully liberating Peru. San Martín unexpectedly left Perú and resigned the command of his army, excluding himself from politics and the military, and moved to France in 1824. The details of the 22 July meeting would be a subject of debate by later historians.

Together with Simón Bolívar, San Martín is regarded as one of the Liberators of Spanish South America. He is the national hero of Argentina. The Order of the Liberator General San Martin (Spanish: Orden del Libertador San Martín) in his honor is the highest decoration in Argentina.

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