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275. mariano moreno

Mariano Moreno, Recoleta Cemetery

One of the most recognized protagonists of Argentine history, Mariano Moreno is not buried in the simple, unadorned tomb pictured above. He died before the cemetery was founded onboard a ship traveling to the UK. His body, wrapped in a British flag, was lowered into the sea off the coast of Brazil. However Moreno’s son also shared his father’s name & built the family vault.

Mariano Moreno (father) was born & raised in the neighborhood of San Telmo in Buenos Aires to a family of limited economic means. His studies were significantly delayed until Moreno’s family could afford to send him to Chuquisaca in modern-day Bolivia. Once there, Moreno’s life changed as he became fascinated with social theory involving man’s freedom & also fell in love with María Guadalupe Cuenca. She had been destined to enter a convent, but Moreno’s love was so great that he convinced her family otherwise. Mariano Moreno (son) was born in 1804.

Moreno & family returned to Buenos Aires after he tried unsuccessfully to defend the rights of the indigenous population. By the time of the May Revolution & the Declaration of Separation issued in 1810, Moreno accepted nomination as a secretary of the Primera Junta (along with Juan José Paso). During this time Moreno founded the National Library & became heavily involved in national politics.

Mariano Moreno, Recoleta Cemetery

National organization proved difficult, & Moreno headed a faction opposed to President Saavedra. When his faction lost a key vote, Moreno attempted to resign… & was denied. As a way of separating Moreno from local politics, he was sent on a diplomatic mission to England. During the journey, he died of an accidental overdose of a medication as prescribed by the ship’s captain.

According to Genealogia Familiar, Mariano Moreno (son) married Mercedes González Balcarce Quesada & passed away in 1876. Those dates & names match what can be found today in Recoleta Cemetery:

Mariano Moreno, Recoleta Cemetery

A 1946 decree from the national organization for heritage protection states that a cenotaph for Mariano Moreno should be located in Section 7. These days it’s missing. But at least María Guadalupe Cuenca is buried alongside her son the Moreno family vault… sadly minus her husband.

Published inPoliticians


  1. nicolas nicolas

    quisiera felicitarlos por esta notable pagina de historia ,realmente aprendi mucho leyendola por curiosidad,y por cierto estuve en la tumba de los moreno y se siente una gran emocion estar cerca de la familia de este gran procer

    • Gracias Nicolas. Uno de los motivos para seguir con la pagina es justo lo que mencionaste: se puede sentir mucho estando cerca de los proceres… y no soy argentino! 🙂 Saludos!

  2. José María Cuenca José María Cuenca

    Lamento que esté en inglés porque no se ese idioma. Sólo pude leer que Mariano Moreno es uno de los más reconocidos protagonistas. Y es así; fue el paladín y promotor de la Revolución de Mayo.
    Gracias por publicarlo. Saludos cordiales.

  3. David Huamalies Greene David Huamalies Greene

    Thank you, Robert, for sharing the history of our beloved nation’s founding fathers and Mothers. It is remarkable that the information is available in English because, as you said, “lots of tourists visit Recoleta just looking for Evita’s restplace,” missing out on many other amazing people and beautiful mausoleums that have more to say.

    • You’re welcome, David. Thanks very much for the comment. It has no end to fascinating stories, & that’s why I continue to write about Recoleta Cemetery. Saludos!

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