Persecution of lawyers has a long history in South America.
From Marie Arana’s biography Bolívar – American Liberator:
Bolívar was handed an agitated letter from Páez, reporting the miserable state of affairs in Venezuela. “Your cannot imagine how ruinous the intrigues have been in this country,” Páez told him. “Morillo was right when he said he did you a favor when he killed all the lawyers.” But according to Páez, the Spaniards hadn’t killed enough of them. It was men of laws, he insisted, who were crippling the republic.
Apparently, too many people had read Shakespeare’s Henry VI.