Today in Latin America, The Border Christ

caution-andes-chile

Today in 1904 (105 years ago) the bronze statue of Jesus Christ was dedicated above the pass of La Cumbre on the old road from Mendoza, Argentina to Santiago, Chile in commemoration of the peaceful resolution of border disputes between the two countries who have a genuinely shared history going back to the invasion by Jose de San Martín.

At the turn of the century, Argentina and Chile were in flux over land – what else was new? But, at the turn of the twentieth century, instead of war or seizure of land, the two countries, thanks in no small part to their dominant Catholic faiths which lingers as a christ-andes-chile-argentina1permanent reminder of their ties to Europe, decided to settle their conflicts in a distinctly Christian way – through peace. Marcelino del Carmen Benavente, bishop of Cuyo, in Argentina, promised to erect a statue to Christ the Redeemer to remind the people of God’s message.

Ángela Oliveira Cézar de Costa, a lady of Argentina high society, who would later be nominated for a Nobel Prize for the deed, decided to take the statue to the Andes as a show of union of the two nations. Peace ended up reigning that summer of 1902 and the statue was led to the Andes, in particular to the pass that San Martín used to invade Chile in the 1810s. The statue was raised by mule 1,200 km to the summit and erected in pieces with Christ looking over the border.

As the path is impassable during the winter as temperature plunge below freezing, it was something as thousands flocked to the peak to watch the inauguration. Inscribed:

“Sooner shall these mountain crags crumble to dust than Chile and Argentina shall break this peace which at the feet of Christ the Redeemer they have sworn to maintain.”

In 2004, President Néstor Kirchner of Argentina and Ricardo Lagos of Chile attended a centennial celebration, to reaffirm the relationship between Chile and Argentina.

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~ by Daniel on March 13, 2009.

One Response to “Today in Latin America, The Border Christ”

  1. its really shows the greatness of god jesus christ

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