José Olaya: the fisherman chorrillano hero Peruvian
He is considered a martyr in the struggle for the Independence of Peru. He was shot on June 29, 1823 in the Plaza de Armas de Lima, in the area that today bears his name: Pasaje Olaya.
José Olaya was born in Chorrillos in 1782. He had 11 brothers and in the struggle for the Independence of Peru, the hero was a secret emissary carrying messages between the government of Callao and the patriots of Lima. Swimming.
Jose Olaya was a fisherman, a man with sun-tanned skin and marked features. He is also patron of the fishermen, and his image is in the Pier of Fishermen of Chorrillos.
It is said that he was an excellent swimmer and could cover the route from Chorrillos to the island of San Lorenzo, and from there to Callao, carrying fish for sale.2 A version also states that it began to serve the patriot cause from Early, when the Liberator Squadron under Thomas Cochrane arrived in the Peruvian coasts in 1820. On that occasion he visited the ships of that squadron and offered to carry mail for the patriots of Callao, and then for those of Lima.
He was discovered, imprisoned, subjected to torture that the history accurately details and condemned to death. The story goes that in spite of the tortures, Jose Olaya never revealed his mission and preferred to swallow the letters entrusted for the mission. For this reason, his Chorrillian relatives who survive him are not without pride whenever he is mentioned, especially at the end of June, a day in which he remembers his death and his struggle.
This craft fisherman was the link between the ships of the Libertador Squadron and the soldiers of the patriotic forces (Argentine, Chilean and Peruvian) located in Lima. I swam from one point to another.
When captured by the royalist army, they tortured him in order to obtain information about the patriot forces. Jose Olaya Balandra, according to the historians, suffered two hundred sticks and two hundred lashes. It is also reported that his nails were removed.
He was arrested while carrying a letter from General Antonio Jose de Sucre to the patriarch Narciso de la Colina. He was captured by the Spanish Ramon Rodil.
On the morning of June 29, 1823, he uttered a phrase that from the beginning, Peruvian schoolchildren must have read: “If a thousand lives I would gladly give them for my country.” It was shot in the passage of the Main Square of Lima, today Pasaje Olaya.
Olaya died the same day that Chorrillos, his town, celebrates the festival to the patron saint of fishermen, San Pedro.