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Ignacio Carrera Pinto

Ignacio Carrera Pinto (February 5, 1848 – July 9, 1882) is a Chilean hero of the War of the Pacific.

He was born in Santiago, Chile; the son of José Miguel Carrera Fontecilla, of Basque descent,[1] and of Emilia Pinto Benavente. He was the grandson of Jose Miguel Carrera Verdugo, one of Chile's independence heroes. He was also the great-grandson and great-nephew of Chile's Presidents Francisco Antonio Pinto and Anibal Pinto. When the War of the Pacific, between Chile, on one side, and Peru and Bolivia on the other, started in 1879, Carrera Pinto enrolled in the "Esmeralda" battalion. During the next years, and as a consequence of his personal merits, he was promoted rapidly. In 1881, he became lieutenant and, in 1882, captain. He participated in the Lima Campaign and in the Sierra Campaign, during which he was killed in the Battle of La Concepción.

Ignacio Carrera Pinto and his 77 men are regarded in Chile as great heroes, and are commonly referred to as "los Héroes de la Concepción'.

Ignacio Carrera Pinto and the Héroes de la Concepción

On July, 1882, Carrera was the head of the Chilean Army's Fourth Company of Chacabuco, formed by 77 men, which was guarding the Peruvian town called La Concepción. Other officers in charge were lieutenants Julio Montt Salamanca, Luis Cruz Martínez and Arturo Perez Canto. On July 10, 1882, La Concepción was attacked by 400 regular Peruvian soldiers and large groups of natives, which were part of the forces of Andres Caceres, a Peruvian officer which was conducting a guerrilla war.

Despite being greatly outnumbered and out of ammunition, the Chilean soldiers did not surrender. The last Chilean soldiers died charging the well-armed Peruvian army only with their bayonets.

The Carrera family was one of Chile's most influential families and grew considerably in number. Today, the bulk of the family remains in Santiago and the southern Province of the Bio Bio, although a portion is known to have emigrated to Sweden.

Chilean one thousand peso notes bear Ignacio Carrera's face.


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