Place:La Rioja, Argentina


NameLa Rioja
Alt namesLa Riojasource: Wikipedia
Coordinates30°S 67.5°W
Located inArgentina
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

La Rioja is one of the provinces of Argentina and is located in the west of the country. Neighboring provinces are from the north clockwise Catamarca, Córdoba, San Luis and San Juan. The dinosaur Riojasaurus is named after the province.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Petroglyphs created by early indigenous peoples at the Talampaya National Park are dated around 10,000 years BCE. Succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples developed here. The Diaguita, Capayan and the Olongasta peoples inhabited the territory of present-day La Rioja Province at the time of encounter with the Spanish colonists in the 16th century.

Juan Ramírez de Velazco founded Todos los Santos de la Nueva Rioja in 1591 under the government of Tucumán of the Viceroyalty of Peru. In 1630 the Calchaquí people revolted against the Spanish, but the governor Albornoz suppressed them.

In 1783, after the creation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, the control of the province of 10,000 inhabitants passed to the Córdoba independency. The province acquired independence from Córdoba in 1820. Following attempts by Bernardino Rivadavia, the first elected President of Argentina, to impose a centralist constitution, the caudillo Juan Facundo Quiroga emerged as a popular leader. He represented their preference for more autonomy, for which they continued to press following Quiroga's 1835 assassination. After a period of internal instability in Argentina, the province finally joined the Argentine Confederation in 1853.

La Rioja attracted fewer immigrants from Europe than did other Argentine provinces from 1890 to the 1930s.

Some Syrian and Lebanese immigrants did settle in the province, among whom the most well-known are probably the Menem family. Coming from what had been the Ottoman Empire, Saul Menem and his wife were of Armenian and Alawi ancestry. He prospered as a traveling salesman and sent his eldest son, Carlos Menem, to Spain for college. After the younger Menem was elected governor of La Rioja Province in March 1973, he implemented a number of reforms advocated by activists for the poor, rural majority, particularly those recommended by Bishop Enrique Angelelli.

Removed and imprisoned following the military ouster of President Isabel Perón in March 1976 ouster, Menem was kept in illegal confinement until the end of 1980. He was reportedly tortured during this time. The dictatorship repressed people in the province and was responsible for the brutal murder in August 1976 of Bishop Angelelli. After democracy was restored in 1983, Menem was overwhelmingly re-elected to office. He pursued conservative policies, leveraging La Rioja's dry, agreeable climate, its modest wage scale and skilled work-force, to attract La Rioja's first significant light industries, particularly bottling and food-processing.

Having presided over a growing La Rioja economy even as the nation's languished during the 1980s, Menem secured the Peronist Justicialist Party nomination for president in May 1988; in an upset, he defeated the popular Governor Antonio Cafiero of Buenos Aires Province. Elected president of Argentina in 1988, Menem served until 1999. During those years, he steered billions in federal public works spending into La Rioja. Although the province remains less developed than the average in the nation, its economy today compares favorably with those of its neighbors.

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