One of the founding members of the Unión Cívica Radical political party, José Camilo Crotto participated in the 1890 Revolution. He continued to be active in politics his entire life, first as Senator for the city of Buenos Aires & later as Governor of the province.
During the presidency of fellow UCR member Hipólito Yrigoyen, Crotto was chosen as the party’s national chairman. He named various ministers for Yrigoyen who weren’t to everyone’s liking. Controversy brewed. Crotto eventually broke away from the UCR & formed his own splinter political party.
But he is most famous for approving a 1920 law that allowed rural workers to ride cargo trains free of charge in order to help with the harvest. Nicknamed “crotos” after the governor’s last name, the term later referred to anyone who was homeless & remains a part of local Argentine slang.
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