Colombia has had a rollercoaster 200 years of history. Check out some key moments…
The case of the vase
On 20 July, 1810 – nine years before full independence – local Criollos (people of Spanish heritage born in the Americas) used an insult over a flower vase as a reason to riot against the ruling Spaniards.
This forced the Viceroy to agree to limited independence.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Exactly 200 years ago, on August 7, the Battle of Boyacá took place – seen as the unofficial end of Spanish rule.
1819 – 1831
This was an expansive territory that stretched from southern Central America to northern South America. The name is used to help historians distinguish between “The Republic of Colombia,” which was the territory’s official name and is now Colombia’s official name.
First military coup, by Rafael Urdaneta.
This was a republic consisting of present-day Colombia and Panama. It was formed after Gran Colombia broke apart, following the secession of parts of Venezuela and Ecuador. The territory also included parts of Costa Rica, Peru, Nicaragua, and Brazil.
Second Military coup, by José Melo.
Renamed Estados Unidos de Colombia.
The Universidad Nacional is founded.
A series of reforms implemented by then-president, Rafael Núñez, which called for a powerful, centralised government rather than state supremacy, and restored the influence of the Roman Catholic Church.
Current name República de Colombia agreed upon.
Civil War of a thousand days kicks off.
National Coffee Federation formed.
Outrage at the ‘banana massacre’.
Leticía Incident confirms Colombia’s stake in the Amazon.
Colombian football finally takes off with the first national championship.
Gaitán is shot, triggering El Bogotazo and later La Violencia.
1948 – 1953
Civil war fought between liberals and conservatives – campesinos, most notably – throughout the country which resulted in at least 200,000 deaths.
Census registers more than 10,000,000 people in the country.
Third military coup, by Gustavo Rojas Pinilla.
Television arrives in Colombia with a rendition of the anthem by the Symphonic Orchestra.
The Frente Nacional is agreed (also women voted for first time).
16-years of coalition government in which liberals and conservatives alternated four-year presidential terms. Agreed between Alberto Lleras Camargo (Liberal leader) and Laureano Gómez (Conservative leader).
Manuel Marulanda Vélez founds the Republic of Marquetalia.
Marulanda Vélez escapes to the hills after a military attack and founds the FARC.
Armed conflict lasting more than 50 years. Over 220,000 people have died, including an estimated 45,000 children.
Census registers more than 20,000,000 people.
Gabriel García Márquez receives Literature Nobel.
Cartagena placed on UNESCO world heritage list.
The current constitution is ratified.
Pablo Escobar is shot on a Medellín rooftop.
Footballer Andrés Escobar is shot after conceding an own goal against the USA.
Attempt at peace talks with the FARC.
María Isabel Urrutia takes first Olympic gold in weightlifting in Sydney.
Census registers more than 40,000,000 people.
Café de Colombia is recognised as a protected label by the EU.
The falsos positivos scandal came to light.
Find here a downloadable version of Colombia’s history to hang up on your wall.