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News > Latin America

Argentina Replaces Columbus Statue with Indigenous Heroine

Published 15 July 2015

Juana Azurduy was a South America guerrilla military leader and critical figure in the South American struggle for independence.

Bolivian President Evo Morales' visit to his Argentine counterpart Cristina Fernandez Wednesday will focus not only on bilateral agreements between the two nations, but also South America's independence history, Cuban news agency Prensa Latina reported.

The two South American leaders will inaugurate a monument to independence heroine and South American guerrilla military leader Juana Azurduy.

Click on the photo to see a photo gallery of the event

The 15-meter high (52 feet) bronze statue has been erected outside the presidential palace in Buenos Aires in the place where a monument to Christopher Columbus once stood .

“Bye Columbus, see you never. Hello Juana Azurduy, UNTIL VICTORY, ALWAYSLong live Patria Grande.”

Festivities throughout the week will celebrate the monument's inauguration as a symbol of “Patria Grande,” a term that roughly translates as “Big Homeland,” used in Latin America to refer to the integration process in the region .

The statue, which will be Argetina’s largest once officially revealed, was made by sculptor Andres Zerneri, who began working on the statue three years ago with the help of a team of 45 assistants. Zerneri said Azurduy led battles that were fundamental to South American independence and her legacy is part of the longstanding regional defense of Patria Grande.

“Juana Azurduy statue will be the largest in Argentina.”

Morales and Fernandez will also further consolidate bilateral ties with the signing of various agreements, including energy integration deals laying the foundation to build an electrical line connecting Yaguaca in southern Bolivia to Tartagal in northern Argentina.

RELATED: Mercosur: Paving the Way for Latin American Integration

Government sources have said that the meeting reinforces the relationship between the two South American nations linked by trade, political ties, and Bolivian immigration to Argentina, according to Prensa Latina.

After concluding talks in Argentina, both Morales and Fernandez will travel to Brazil for a summit of the regional organization Mercosur, during with Bolivia could be welcomed as a full member of the bloc.

Painting of Juana Azurduy | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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