Facundo: Or, Civilization and Barbarism

Facundo: Or, Civilization and Barbarism Character List

Facundo Quiroga

Nicknamed "The Tiger of the Llanos" and one of the quintessential gauchos of Argentina, Facundo was a stout and short with an expressive face, coarse, unruly hair, and a beard. As a youth he was haughty and had little formal education. He quarreled with his parents and developed a lifelong passion for gambling. His character was marked by barbarism, rage, domination, antipathy toward rules or restraint, atheism, and a gift for prophecy. He committed many atrocities in his quest for power. His major rival was General Paz, who beat him at Tablada, and later Rosas. His conquests included La Rioja and Mendoza, and he moved to Buenos Ayres late in life. He became aware that his death was imminent; he was assassinated on the road.

Don Juan Manuel Rosas

Don Juan Manuel Rosas was the brutal and amoral president of Argentina whom Sarmiento holds up as an example of extreme barbarism. He desired uniformity of opinion, reverence as a cult figure, and enforcement of his will by terror. Red was his color and red ribbons adorned Buenos Ayres. Before he ruled the Republic, he was governor of Buenos Ayres. He demanded absolute power and manipulated people into thinking he had their interests in mind, but as time went on the totalitarian nature of his brutal rule manifested itself.


Echevarria was a young Argentinian poet who became famous in Europe as well. He focused on the endless desert and became popular amongst the gauchos.


Calibar was a famous Rastreador who could follow any tracks and trail. His reputation was tremendous.

General Rivera

A famous Baqueano of the Banda Oriental, he was first an outlaw and then a government officer, patriot, peasant, general, President, chieftain, ally, and general again.


Artigas was a chieftain and gaucho; he was once an outlaw but then came over to the side of the civil authorities of Buenos Ayres. He was brutal and inspired much terror.

General Benavides

The governor of San Juan and a subordinate of Facundo, General Benavides' rule was more peaceful and calm and devoid of bloodshed than his leader's.

Don Prudencio Quiroga

Don Prudencio Quiroga was Facundo's father; he often did not get along with his son.

General Ocampo

General Ocampo was the governor of La Rioja who saw Facundo as a formidable ally.

Don Nicholas Davila

Don Nicholas Davila was the leader of one of the two wealthy families of La Rioja and took over the government for and under Facundo. He was forcibly deposed. Not long after, he was killed by Facundo's soldiers after attacking him and wounding him in the thigh.

Sergeant Araya

A leader of the Mounted Grenadiers, he initially did not want to engage the Spanish but was convinced to do so. He led the force commanded by Aldao but negotiated with Facundo and fell upon Aldao's force. Facundo later had him assassinated after he plotted with Davila to arrest Facundo.


He was a Spaniard of low rank whom Facundo placed in the role of governor of La Rioja.


He was the head of Buenos Ayres and first president of the Argentine Republic. He facilitated tremendous progress and civilization in the city. He shed no blood and exemplified the glory of the city, seen as a second Europe. He called for the provinces to unite in a congress and general government in 1825. Once he thought the provinces were against him he resigned the presidency.

Colonel Madrid

When called to form a regiment to fight against the Brazilians, he ignored civil authority and did it on his own. He was a man of energy, bravery, and valor; he claimed he had never surrendered and did not when Facundo was sent to bring him in line. He resumed leadership of Tucuman.


Ex-governor of Catamarca and a resident of La Rioja, he was arrested and sentenced to death by Facundo as an example. After he was told he could have exile, he was beaten to death.


After the presidency falls, Dorrego, as leader of the opposition in Buenos Ayres, took over as Governor. He preferred cities to the countryside and was naive to the countryside's resentment. He fled the country after fighting broke out, but was captured and killed for being "in the way of all parties" (142).


He was the officer who ordered Dorrego's death; Sarmiento thinks he should have killed Rosas instead.

General Paz

A soldier trained in Europe, he was civilized and of the city. He was for a time Facundo's greatest rival. He loved discipline, was not a good rider, and preferred science to brute force. He was respected by his enemies, even Rosas, and seemed to have a destiny about him.


Barcala was a famous Negro translator who worked with Paz after distinguishing himself in Brazil. He was the only one spared from the conquest of Tucuman. He was refined, elegant, and intelligent; his spirit remained in Cordova and Mendoza. He served under Facundo. He died after the monk Rodriguez shot him.


Barcena was an "odious [instrument]" of Facundo's.

Governor Morel

He was the governor of Rioja who fled before Facundo came.

Severa Villafane

She was a young woman in Rioja who Facundo fell in love with. She resisted the tyrant's impulses by fleeing and joining a convent.


The pupil and successor of Artigas, he also served under General Madrid but did not respect him.

Godoi Cruz

Godoi Cruz was a resident of Mendoza who researched the white mulberry and introduced its cultivation; this helped the economy tremendously.

General Villafane

An ally of Facundo's, his death at the hands of Major Navarro caused Facundo to kill numerous officers without quarter.

Major Navarro

A man from General Paz's army who killed Villafane, he was a savage and cruel man who engaged in duels, blackened his face with powder, and loved war. He was killed along with Echevarria because he refused to leave his friend.

Dr. Ortez

Dr. Ortez was Facundo's secretary; he was sad that he must die with his master.

Santos Perez

The gaucho-outlaw who killed Facundo, he was publicly executed.

Felix Aldao

A monk and priest, he discovered he loves killing and fighting, and tried to leave behind his offices to become a soldier. He joined his brothers in helping Facundo and fighting against General Paz. He ruled over Mendoza but cared only for carousing and indolence. His vices and cowardice when captured led to his eventual downfall. He died long after his brothers, perhaps penitent, almost certainly despised by the people of Mendoza. He did, however, care for his mistresses, wives, friends, and soldiers.

Jose Aldao

One of the formidable Aldao brothers and a famous soldier, he was killed by Indians after fighting in Mendoza.

Francisco Aldao

One of the formidable Aldao brothers and a famous soldier, he was killed when negotiating peace terms with the enemy in Mendoza.


Acha was a brave man who led the fight against Benavides and Aldao.