When Colombia Bled: A History of the Violencia in Tolima

When Colombia Bled: A History of the Violencia in Tolima

When Colombia Bled: A History of the Violencia in Tolima

When Colombia Bled: A History of the Violencia in Tolima

Synopsis

This book focuses on the Colombian Violencia, the undeclared civil war between the Liberal and Conservative parties that raged from the late 1940s to early 1960s. It presents the information as a narrative history. There is also an array of appendixes, maps, and photographs.

Excerpt

The years of Liberal rule in Colombia were critical ones for the people of Tolima. During those sixteen years, they lived a dual existence, caught up in their own local affairs yet swept along by national and international processes over which they could exercise little or no control. Local problems whose resolution had once been within the purview of the municipality or department became the concern of a national government whose power had expanded immensely. International economic depression and world war dictated the creation of an interventionist state that formulated programs of national scope. Issues addressed by Colombia's government during the 1930s and early 1940s may have been global ones, but the regime that addressed them was Liberal and hence its programs were combated by Conservatives, who viewed them as insidious and dangerous. Citizens thus found themselves in the position of trying to cope with the exigencies of a new, complex, and turbulent age while saddled with the incubus of divisive partisanships. By the 1940s it was a melancholy fact that Conservative-Liberal feuding had rendered the government incapable of dealing effectively with critical national problems. The ship of state began to drift at a time when society was politicized as it had not been since the War of the Thousand Days. This allowed Tolima and the nation to be caught up in currents that swirled down into a maelstrom.

Tolima experienced its usual measure of political strife in 1930 and afterward, but now it was Conservatives who complained of persecution by sectarian Liberals who were supported by a venal bureaucracy.

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