At the head of every partido the cabildo appointed a rural judge called Alcalde de la Santa Hermandad. The judge or alcalde (from Arabical-qadi ( قاضي,), meaning "the judge") had the mission to maintain the law and order in the surrounding rural area of Buenos Aires, fighting against cattle raiders. The alcalde was helped by a constabulary called Santa Hermandad (in English, Holy Brotherhood) created in the late 15th century by the Catholic Monarchs and transplanted to the colonies.
In 1821 the Governor Martín Rodríguez and his minister Bernardino Rivadavia dissolved the cabildo and since then was the governor itself who appointed the judge, now called Juez de Paz (in English, Justice of Peace).
In 1856 the office of Juez de Paz was replaced by a Presidente de la Municipalidad or Municipal President. It was appointed by the Governor from a list of three candidates presented by the Municipales or Councillors, who were elected by the citizens of the different partidos.
Since 1890 the head of the government is called Intendente (Intendant), or Mayor, and it is directly elected by the citizens.
On October 24, 1864 the Legislature of the Province of Buenos Aires sanctioned law № 422 dividing the province into 45 partidos: Arrecifes, Baradero, Barrancas al Sud (Avellaneda), Belgrano (Barrio Belgrano), Cañuelas, Carmen de Areco, Chacabuco, Chascomús, Chivilcoy, del Pilar, Ensenada, Exaltación de la Cruz, General las Heras, General San Martín, Giles, Junín, Matanza, Las Conchas (Tigre), Lobos, Lomas de Zamora, Luján, Magdalena, Mercedes, Merlo, Monte, Moreno, Morón, Navarro, Pergamino, Quilmes, Ramallo, Ranchos, Rivadavia, Rojas, Salto, San Antonio, San Fernando, San Isidro, San José de Flores (Barrio Flores), San Nicolás, San Pedro, San Vicente, Suipacha, Viedma and Zárate.
at most 5,000
more than 200,000
Every partido is administrated by a municipality. It is divided in an executive and a legislative branch: the mayor or intendente and the city council or consejo deliberante, respectively. The municipality is a strong mayor-council form of government.
The mayor is elected to four-year terms and can be reelected indefinitely.
The City Council is a unicameral body consisting and one-half of the members are elected every two years to serve four-year term.
The mayor and councilors can be reelected indefinitely.
The number of councillors depends on the population of every partido. According to decret-law 6769/58 the number of councillors varies as follows:
List of partidos
Political division of the province and its capital La Plata (red dot)
Buenos Aires Province is divided into 135 partidos (administrative centres in brackets).