He stands on a spit of land at 18th and Constitutional Aves., but Jose Artigas is another of the giants of South American revolution that dominate the blocks around the Organization of American States building.
Artigas was a gaucho, typically known as a rancher in South American. But, here the nine-foot bronze statue shows him in battle dress. Surprisingly, it doesn’t show a copy of the U.S. Constitution and Articles of Confederation Artigas reportedly kept on him at all times.
Artigas is considered the father of Uruguay thanks to his military victories. Indeed, the statue was paid for by Uruguayan children. Artigas never ran the country and was even once imprisoned by a dictator at age 76 for fear of launching an uprising. He died impoverished 10 years later in 1850.