Those conversant with New Delhi’s diplomatic enclave, Chanakyapuri, would often have passed through two familiar avenues—San Martin Marg and Simon Bolivar Marg. The road names symbolize India’s recognition of two Latin American legends, both hailed and respected as founding fathers of Peru and Bolivia, nations whose ambassadors feature on our cover.
Jose de San Martin, an Argentine general, successfully led the southern part of Latin America’s struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. He was eventually appointed Protector of Peru and helped the nation gain independence. He also helped Argentina and Chile gain independence and is popularly known as El Libertador of Peru, Chile and Argentina. Simon Bolivar in whose honour we also have a bust in Chanakyapuri, on the other hand, played a leading role in the northern part of Latin America’s struggle for independence. He is credited with the establishment of Bolivia as a sovereign state, along with Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Panama. Both these daring stalwarts—San Martin and Simon Bolivar—once came together for a meeting in July 1822, a year after Peru’s independence and three years before Bolivia was to become totally liberated.