The Argentine Patriotic League (Liga Patriótica Argentina) was a nationalist Catholic paramilitary group, officially created in Buenos Aires on January 16, 1919, during the Tragic week events. Presided by Manuel Carlés, a professor at the Military College and the Escuela Superior de Guerra, it also counted among its members the deputy Santiago G. O'Farrell (1861-1926).


Composed by wealthy youth, the League assaulted workers' neighborhoods, including the Jewish Once neighborhood of Buenos Aires. It received military training by members of the Argentine Armed Forces, was subsided by important members of the oligarchy, and supported by the Church [1]. The League worked hand-in-hand with the Bonaerense police forces in the repression of social movements. Some of its members were also members of the Radical Party [1].

It quickly extended itself through-out Argentina, on a nationalist, xenophobic, anti-Communist and anti-Semitic program. They attacked in particular Catalans, accused of being anarchists, and Jews, accused of being Bolsheviks [1]

At its height in the early 1920s, the League's so-called brigades contained as many as 300,000 members throughout the country [1].

The League counted with the official support of the admiral and Minister of Marine Manuel Domecq García.

The League participated to the events known as Patagonia rebelde or Patagonia Trágica (1921-1922), in Río Gallegos, during which 1,500 workers in strike were assassinated.

It also participated to José Félix Uriburu's 1930 military coup, which initiated the Infamous Decade.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Book review of Luis María Caterina. La liga patriótica Argentina: Un grupo de presión frente a las convulsiones sociales de la década del veinte. Buenos Aires: Corregidor. 1995. Pp. 333 (in the American Historical Review (English)


  • Caterina, Luis María. 1995. La Liga Patriótica Argentina. Un grupo de presión frente a las convulsiones sociales de la década del '20. Buenos Aires, Editorial Corregidor. ISBN 978-950-05-0839-1 reseña

See also

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