Guerra a muerte
Part of the Chilean War of Independence

El malón (1834) by Johann Moritz Rugendas
Result Patriot victory
Definitive Chilean occupation of the towns and forts of La Frontera

Chile Chile

Mapuche allies:

Spain Rebels from the province of Concepción

Mapuche allies:

Commanders and leaders
  • Spain Vicente Benavides Executed
  • Spain Juan M. Pico Executed
  • Spain Juan A. Ferrebú Executed
  • Spain José M. Zapata 
  • Spain Vicente Bocardo Surrendered
  • Spain Miguel Senosiaín Surrendered
  • Juan A. Pincheira 
  • Santos Pincheira 
  • Pablo Pincheira Executed
  • José A. Pincheira Surrendered
Chile Chilean Army and militias
Mapuche warriors
Spain Royalist semi-regular army and montoneras
Mapuche warriors

Guerra a muerte (lit. English: War to the death) is a term coined by Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna and used in Chilean historiography to describe the irregular, no-quarter warfare that broke out in 1819 during the Chilean War of Independence.

After the royalists had been expelled from all cities and ports north of the Bio-Bio River, Vicente Benavides organized royalist resistance in La Frontera with the aid of Mapuche chiefs. The aid of the Mapuches was vital to the royalists since they had lost control of all cities and ports north of Valdivia. Most Mapuches valued the treaties they had with the Spanish authorities, while many other Mapuches regarded the matter with indifference and played both sides against each other. The Pincheira brothers, a future outlaw group, served Benavides in the Guerra a muerte by defending the Cordillera.

As result of the Guerra a muerte the government of nascent republic begun to distrust the Franciscan missionaries of Chillán who were regarded as representatives of the old regime. This led to the recruitment of a new contingent of missionaries for Chillán in the 1830s.[1]

See also


  1. ^ Pinto Rodríguez, Jorge (1993). "Jesuitas, Franciscanos y Capuchinos italianos en la Araucanía (1600-1900)". Revista Complutense de Historia de América (in Spanish). 19: 109–147. Retrieved February 22, 2014.