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Subdivisions of Mendoza Province (Argentina)

Last modified: 2015-05-07 by francisco gregoric
Keywords: mendoza | provincia de mendoza | general alvear | alvear (carlos maría) | san rafael | tupungato | tunuyan |
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Subdivisions of Mendoza Province (About) : See also:

About Mendoza Province subdivisions

The Province of Mendoza is administratively divided in 18 departments. Inside each department there is one municipality,
Francisco Gregoric, 20 Apr 2008

General Alvear Department

[General Alvear municipal flag]
image by Ivan Sache, 31 Dec 2013

The municipality of General Alvear (28,431 inhabitants in 2010) is located in the southeast of the Mendoza Province, 320 km from Mendoza.

General Alvear is named for General Carlos María de Alvear (Carlos Antonio Joseph Gabino del Ángel de la Guarda Alvear; 1789-1852), Of Andalusian origin, Alvear served in the Spanish army from 1806 to 1811, fighting against the French troops in Talavera, Jevenes and Ciudad Real. In September 1811, he met in London Francisco Miranda, aka "The Precursor", and his friends from the "Sociedad de Caballeros Racionales" who aimed at the independence of the Spanish colonies in South America. Back to Argentina with San Martín, Alvear was enrolled in the new Regiment of Horse Grenadiers.
Quickly involved in politic, Alvear presided the Constituent Assembly established in 1813. Back to the army in June 1813, he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Buenos Aires garrison, which increased his power. Alvear contributed to the centralization of the regime and the appointment of Posadas as the Supreme Director. On 23 June 1814, Alvear commanded the troops that seized Montevideo from the Royalist party; during the Civil War, he forced Artigas to withdrew. After Posadas' resignation, the Assembly appointed in January 1815 Alvear as the Supreme Director; overthrown by the revolution of 15 April 1815, he exiled to Brazil and, then, Montevideo, until amnestied in 1822.
Rivadavia appointed him Minister Plenipotentiary in the United Kingdom, and, subsequently, at Bolívar. Eventually appointed Ministe of War and Commander of the Army, Alvear restored his good name during the war against Brazil. He won on 20 February 1827 the Battle of Ituzaingó, whose main outcome was the independence of the Eastern Bank (Uruguay). Alvear ended his long, controversial career as Ministry Plenipotentiary in the USA (1838-1852).
Alvear's son, Torcuato, served as the first Mayor of Buenos Aires, while his grandson, Marcelo, was President of the Republic in 1922-1928.

Diego de Alvear (1825-1887, seemingly a son of General Alvear) was a powerful landlord who owned huge estates in Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, San Luis, Mendoza and the Pampa National Territory. In 1884, he acquired 1,300,000 ha of land in the south of the Mendoza Province,limited by rivers Diamante, Atuel and Salado. Death prevented him to establish there an agricultural colony; his heirs, however, founded in 1901 Colonia Alvear; the colony was planned and organized by the engineer Carlos de Chapeaurouge (1846-1922, author of the first cadastral map of Argentina, 1891-1895). The colony (45,000 ha) included the today's territories of the town of General Alvear and of the urban center of the district of Alvear Oeste, and all the arable lands of the today's municipality, excepted the village of Carmensa. The district of Colonia Alvear was established in 1911, as part of the municipality of San Rafaël. The cumbersome access to San Rafaël and the growth of the colony, boosted by the building of the railway in 1912, prompted its inhabitants to apply for the establishment of the municipality of General Alvear, which was granted by Law No. 635 of 12 August 1914.

General Alvear was the last den of the rural bandit Juan Bautista Bairoletto (1894-1941). After his death during a fighting with the police, Bairoletto, nicknamed "the gaucho Robin Hood" or "the last Romantic bandit" became a legend, illustrated by a novel, a play, a movie and several folk songs Bairoletto's widow, Telma Ceballos, celebrated her 100th anniversary in 2013.

The other local hero of General Alvear is the Russian-born musician Alejo Vladimir Abutcov (1872-1945). A disciple of Leo Tolstoy and a student of Alexander Glazunov and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Abutcov emigrated in 1923 to Argentina; the next year, he acquired an estate in General Alvear, where his project of colony following Tolstoy's principles failed within a few years. Abutcov founded in 1928 a music academy in General Alvear, where he was the sole professor, teaching until his death musical theory and all kinds of instruments to more than 200 students.

The flag of General Alvear is horizontally divided sky blue-gray, the two fields being separated by a thin white stripe. All over is placed a yellow sun.

The flag was selected among nine proposals in a public contest whose results were proclaimed on 7 November 2013. The flag was designed by Maricel Viviana Arriaga (24 years old)), student in Enology and Wine-growing at the Faculty of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences of Cuyo National University. She described the flag as follows:

    "The flag is of minimalist style, using simple and geometrical shapes, identifiable at first sight. It is made of three horizontal rectangles each with a distinctive colour and meaning, providing balance and structure to the whole design. Most important, simplicity is firmly laden with feelings and convictions.

    The gray, lower stripe represents the 100-year life span of the town, the years of struggle and effort, representing the history of the settlement. The middle, white stripe represents the transition period, that is, present. The upper, sky blue stripe represents the future. The most striking element is the sun in the flag's center, whose rays form the contour map of the municipal territory and which supplies the flag with sheen and elation.

    All over, the flag represents General Alvear's struggling history, working present and prosperous future."

The flag was officially unveiled on 23 November 2013, during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the proclamation of General Alvear as a city.

There is another municipality named General Alvear, part of the Buenos Aires Province, that also adopted a flag in November 2013, most probably by a mere coincidence.
Ivan Sache, 31 Dec 2013

Other sites:

San Rafael Department

[San Rafael municipal flag]
image by Olivier Touzeau, 27 Sep 2011

The Department of San Rafael municipality of San Rafael (187,879 inhabitants in 2009; 31,235 sq. km) is located in the Province of Mendoza. The department is named for its capital and most inhabited municipality, San Rafael (106,386 inhabitants in 2001), founded on 2 April 1805, and named for its founder, Rafael de Sobremonte (1745-1827), Viceroy of the Río de la Plata (1804-1806).

Javier Martin, "Diario Uno", 17 September 2009, reports that the Department Councillor Jorge García has proposed to launch a contest for a department's flag before the end of the year. The proposal insists that he has no separatist agenda and thet the department's flag should be subordinated to the national flag and the flag of the Andes of Mendoza.
Ivan Sache, 17 Nov 2009

San Rafael has chosen the design of the departmental flag. In simple lines and with patriotic colors in the background, the emblem will represent the local landscape, with its plains, mountains, lakes and rivers, among other great attributes that characterize the entire local area, like the sun and the grapes. On November 19, 2010 the Los Andes newspaper reported that:

    "The winner of the contest, in which more than 170 works were submitted, is Eliana Mauceri,known for her designs and who has won other competitions in other similar opportunities, as poster of the Vendimia Nacional 2009 and the Vendimia del Bicentenario San Rafael 2010. 'We understood that this design was the synthesis of all the requirements and had the quaoity to be very applicable as a flag,' said Director of Culture, Guillermo Romano presenting the chosen design."
According to the author, the flag is based on all the symbols that represent the department, its characteristics and geographical location:

  • The colours of the flag of Argentina in the upper half of the flag,
  • The rays of the sun of the coat of arms of San Rafael, and in the heart of the rays a bunch of grapes
  • The landscape of San Rafael in the lower part : under the blue and white sky are red hills (color of ceramic crafts of native peoples that make up the history and culture of San Rafael), and the characteristic green emerald color of the rivers and lakes.
Olivier Touzeau, 27 Sep 2011

Other sites:

Tunuyán Department

The municipality of Tunuyán (46,436 inhabitants; 3,317 sq. km) is located 80 km south-west of Mendoza Province, on the border with Chile, here the Portillo pass. Together with Tupungato and San Carlos, Tunuyán forms the Uco Valley.

The town of Tunuyán originates in the Totoral estate, founded at the end of the 16th century by Juan Amaro del Campo. The evangelization of the area started in the early 17th century, when Friar Pérez de Espinosa, Bishop of Chile, founded the parish of Uco. The valley was subsequently settled by the Jesuits, who founded the Jesús María and José de Uco estates. In 1770, all the estates in the region were placed under the jurisdiction of the San Carlos Fort, founded by Commandant Amigorena.

The municipality of Tunuyán was established on 30 November 1880.

The flag of Tunuyán, inaugurated on 17 June 2011, was selected in a public contest initiated by two municipal councillors, María Dolores Sánser and Carlos Marinelli. The winner of the contest is Emmanuel Dalmau.

The flag is vertically divided light blue-white-light blue (1:2:1). In the middle of the flag are represented:

  • A big green apple, representing the local agriculture.
  • A guitar, vertically symbolized by yellow stripes crossing the sun, highlighting the importance of folk music in the town, which has been organizing the Folk Song ("tonada") National Festival every year since 1972.
  • The sun.
  • The San Martín Monument, inaugurated on 17 August 1950, in terracotta color representing the color of the soil, being the most important monument in Tunuyán and one of the most representative in the country.
  • The condor, the emblematic bird of the Andes.
  • A river, represented with the colors of the national flag.
  • A bunch of grapes with green leaves, the straightforward symbols of the local agricultural production.
Ivan Sache, 20 May 2012

Other sites:

Tupungato Department

[Tupungato municipal flag]
image by Olivier Touzeau, 28 Sep 2011

Tupungato department has become on November 2010 one of the few in Mendoza province having its own flag.

The flag, with two blue and white vertical stripes, and with the coat of arms in the middle, was to be presented during the civic parade of the department in November 2010, during which the authorities and the people of this area of the Valle de Uco commemorated the 152 years of institutional life.

The flag was created by Amilcar Maslup (74), and was adopted through Ordinance No. 49/2010.

The coat of arms contains four parts: Tupungato hill (6,800 m), which gives its name to the department; the cross of the Jesuit missionaries; an indigenous sun ; a tower of oil and the fruits of a bountiful land (a bunch of grapes). Two intertwined laurel branches symbolize the traditional friendship with the Tupungato Mountain Infantry Regiment 11 General Las Heras.
Olivier Touzeau, 28 Sep 2011

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