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Rosa Zárate de la Peña (Sarate, Zarate)

Other names/titles:
Gender: F
Ethnic origin: White

Biographical details

She was born in Quito into an upper class family, she was educated and known for her "grandes virtudes" and "carácter varonil". She married Nicolás de la Peña, and their son, Francisco Antonio de la Peña became a colonel in the independence army on the Ambato expedition in 1809. He was young, and recently married. He was among the many prisoners beheaded in August 1810. (Monsalve, 47)

She attended Baquijano's pro-independence tertulias in Quito in 1809. (Monsalve, 39) She was a member of María Larrain's armed group (around 1810). (Monsalve, 47)

A heroine of the Independence period, she married Nicolás de la Peña. They fled Quito in December 1812 when the independence movement was quashed, but were captured and executed in 1813. (Knaster, 492).

Arciniegas describes her as having paid with her life (in Tumaco, Colombia) for the republican cause. (Arciniegas, 86)

She is mentioned for her part in the independence struggles (unspecified). (Jiménez, 21)

The criminal process of the discovery of the authors and accomplices of the assassination of President Conde Ruíz de Castilla (who was then in his 80s) reveals that among those charged with high treason and murder were Nicolas de la Peña, his wife, Rosa Sarate, and Indians Francisco Males, José Faco and Alfonso Guallpa. They were found guilty in their absence. De la Peña and Zárate were described as "deliquentes sin religion y sin conciencia" . Zárate is said to have told Francisco Males "Dios te lo pague". She was sentenced to be executed in the public plaza. (Archivo General de Ecuador)

After their sentence was pronounced, she is reputed to have said to Nicolás de la Peña: "Un patriota no tiembla ante la muerte." (Hincapie Borda, 156)

Conde Ruiz de Castilla was assassinated on 15 June 1812, de la Peña was not present, yet he was declared to be the author of the killing. De la Peña and Zárate were able to use their wealth to escape and got as far as the Pacific coast before being captured in Tumaco, Colombia. On the orders of President Montes, they were both shot on 17 July 1813; their heads were cut off and sent to Quito to be displayed in the city. The heads did not arrive as they were intercepted in Tejar by Antonio Endorza and María Mercedes Viteri. (Monsalve, 47-48)

Life Events

Other 1810Her son, Francisco Antonio, was killed on 2 August (1810)?
Other 1812She fled Quito in December 1812.
Died 1813She was captured and executed on 17 July 1813.


Knaster, Meri, (1977), Women in Spanish America: An Annotated Bibliography from Pre-Conquest to Contemporary Times

Arciniegas, Germán, (1961), América mágica: II Las mujeres y las horas

Rendon de Mosquera, Zoila, (1933), La mujer en el hogar y en la sociedad

Hincapie Borda, Alicia, (2000), Tras la imagen y la presencia de Policarpa

Jiménez de la Vega, Mercedes, (1981), La mujer ecuatoriana, frustraciones y esperanzas

Monsalve, José D, (1926), Mujeres de la independencia

, (), Archivo Nacional de Ecuador, Quito.


There is no writing by this subject in the database.


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