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cabecera (county seat) and partido (county), of Gran (Greater) Buenos Aires, southeast of the city of Buenos Aires, in Buenos Aires provincia (province), eastern Argentina, near the Rio de la Plata estuary. Colonization of the area began with the second and permanent founding of Buenos Aires (1580). In 1666 Jose Martinez de Salazar (governor of Rio de la Plata) established the Indian reduccione (work mission) called Santa Cruz de los Quilmes. The mission existed until 1812, when the junta governing Buenos Aires disbanded the mission and freed the Indians. The county was established in 1730 out of the pago (country district) of La Magdalena. In 1806 British troops disembarked on the coast of the county to capture Buenos Aires. In two naval battles off the shores of Quilmes in 1826 and 1827, Argentine warships repulsed attacks by Brazilian fleets.