El Perico and the First Exile

One of the best accounts of the events leading up the first exile of Dr. Martinez is found in a comprehensive work by Jose Antonio Gomez Iturralde: a two-volume overview of the newspapers of Guayaquil. It covers almost two centuries of newspapers (1821 – 1997) and contans a section on El Perico. It is in Spanish but relevant excerpts are translated below.

Regarding the popularity of “El Perico”, Gomez Iturralde states that it “…came to enjoy as no other until many years later, great popularity” and although it caused government officials to fume, they “dared not act against the authors of the most popular newspaper in Guayaquil.” The first issue was published in early November of 1885. By that time it was clear that President Caamano intended to re-impose the Theocratic system of the slain President Garcia Moreno and there was significant opposition to this program. Then in February of 1886, an event occurred which changed the atmosphere in Ecuador: there was an assault on the person of President Caamano. One of his aides was killed1 and in a later related disturbance, a chief of police was killed. This occurred on February 6 and the reaction of the government was to impose a general crackdown; in the words of Gomez Iturralde, “These developments aggravated the situation each day and provoked violent reactions from the government.” A brief article about this attack on President Caamano appeared in the New York Times article just a few days later.

Gomez Iturralde states that Dr. Martinez was “taken prisoner and sent into exile” (ie. to Peru) at this time. He had five small children. The family went with him and his wife would give birth while in exile. Some time after his arrival in Peru, Celso Bambaren , a physician who was his mason brother 2 assisted him to establish his professional Medical credentials at the Medical Faculty of the University of San Marcos, where he taught a class in Topographic Anatomy during the period of his exile in Peru. His son Miguel was born in Trujillo during this exile.

On a separate page we have extended excerpts from the works of Ecuadorian Historians (translated into English) on the subject of Dr. Martinez’ Publication “El Perico”.

  1. The death of this aide is according the the N.Y. times article.
  2. Dr. Martinez had become a freemason while in the United States.
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