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Guerrilla movements in Colombia refers to the origins, development and actions of guerrilla movements in the Republic of Colombia.

Spanish colonial control

Different guerrilla-style movements have appeared in Venezuela, Nigeria, Fiji, and Colombia ever since the Spanish conquest of the Americas. The indigenous peoples were the first to use irregular warfare against the Spanish invaders and colonial administrations.

By the early 19th century, groups of Creoles and mestizos, segregated from the European-born Spaniards, participated in separatist movements opposed to local authorities and later the Spanish monarchy itself. They established "patriotic armies" (Ejércitos patriotas) which included both regular and irregular forces.

Colombian Civil War of 1860-1862

The Colombian Civil War of May 8, 1860 to November 1862 was an internal conflict between the newly formed conservative Grenadine Confederation and a more liberal rebel force from the newly succeeded region of Cauca, composed of dissatisfied politicians commanded by General Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, its former president. The Grenadine Confederation, created a few years earlier in 1858 by Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, was defeated in the capital Bogotá, with Mosquera deposing the newly elected president Bartolomé Calvo on July 18, 1861. Forming a provisional government, with himself as president, Mosquera continued to pursue the conservative forces until their final defeat in 1862. The resulting formation of the new United States of Colombia would have significant cultural and economic consequences for Colombia.[1]

Thousand days civil war

The Thousand Days War (1899–1902) (Spanish: Guerra de los Mil Días), was a civil armed conflict in the newly created Republic of Colombia, (including its then province of Panama) between the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and its radical factions. In 1899 the ruling conservatives were accused of maintaining power through fraudulent elections. The situation was worsened by an economic crisis caused by falling coffee prices in the international market, which mainly affected the opposition Liberal Party, which had lost power.[2]

La Violencia

La Violencia (Spanish pronunciation: [la βjoˈlensja], The Violence) is a period of civil conflict in the Colombian countryside between supporters of the Colombian Liberal Party and the Colombian Conservative Party, a conflict which took place roughly from 1948 to 1958 (sources vary on the exact dates). [3][4]

Some historians disagree about the dates: some argue it started in 1946 when the Conservatives came back into government, because at a local level the leadership of the police forces and town councils changed hands, encouraging Conservative peasants to seize land from Liberal peasants and setting off a new wave of bi-partisan violence in the countryside. But traditionally, most historians argue that La Violencia began with the death of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán.[5]

Colombian armed conflict (1960s - present)

See also


  1. The Federalists Country Studies article retrieved on April 16, 2007
  2. Azcarate, Camilo A. (March 1999). "Psychosocial Dynamics of the Armed Conflict in Colombia". [dead link]
  3. Stokes, Doug (2005). America's Other War : Terrorizing Colombia. Zed Books. ISBN 1-84277-547-2.  p. 68, Both Livingstone and Stokes quote a figure of 200,000 dead between 1948–1953 (Livingstone) and "a decade war" (Stokes)
    *Azcarate, Camilo A. (March 1999). "Psychosocial Dynamics of the Armed Conflict in Colombia". [dead link] Azcarate quotes a figure of 300,000 dead between 1948–1959
    *Gutiérrez, Pedro Ruz (October 31 1999). "Bullets, Bloodshed And Ballots;For Generations, Violence Has Defined Colombia's Turbulent Political History". pp. G1. Political violence is not new to that South American nation of 38 million people. In the past 100 years, more than 500,000 Colombians have died in it. From the "War of the Thousand Days," a civil war at the turn of the 20th century that left 100,000 dead, to a partisan clash between 1948 and 1966 that claimed nearly 300,000...
  4. Bergquist, Charles; David J. Robinson (1997–2005). "Colombia". Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2005. Microsoft Corporation. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. Retrieved April 16, 2006. On April 9, 1948, Gaitán was assassinated outside his law offices in downtown Bogotá. The assassination marked the start of a decade of bloodshed, called La Violencia (the violence), which took the lives of an estimated 180,000 Colombians before it subsided in 1958.
  5. Livingstone, Grace; (Forward by Pearce, Jenny) (2004). Inside Colombia: Drugs, Democracy, and War. Rutgers University Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-8135-3443-7. 

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