Elections and Events 1900-1939


Delpar 1981: The Historical Conservatives "concocted a plot that resulted in the deposition of Sanclemente on 31 July 1900, and the installation of Vice President Marroquín in his place" (page 186).

Osterling 1989: "Beginning with Sanclemente’s inauguration, Vice President Marroquin successfully undermined his authority in a series of events which led to the President’s resignation on 30 July 1900 and the Vice President’s assumption of power" (page 74).


Delpar 1981: A treaty was signed on November 21, 1902 that "provided for the immediate restoration of public order and for the holding of a special election for a Congress to study the reforms proposed by Marroquín in 1898" (page 187).

Martz 1997: "In the civil wars that raged between 1839 and 1902, fully eleven years were stained by death and destruction…The longest and cruelest of these conflicts was the so-called War of the Thousand Days (1899-1902). By its conclusion, more than 100,000 lay dead, the economy was moribund, commerce and communications disrupted, and the treasury depleted" (page 48).



Holt 1964: "In January, 1903, the Hay-Herrán Treaty between the United States and Colombia was signed. Under this treaty, the French [canal-building] company was authorized to sell its rights and properties [in Panama] to the United States" (pages 31-32).

March: election

Bergquist 1978: "(D)epartmental and congressional elections [were] held in March, 1903. (Because the war had disrupted normal procedures two-thirds of the Senate seats were at stake, those for 1900 and 1902, and all of the Chamber seats. Members elected to the Chamber would serve only a special one-year period, July, 1903, to July, 1904.)...(E)lection returns from the March 8, 1903, congressional election gave an overwhelming victory to Conservative candidates. Only two Liberals were elected to congress" (page 199).


Delpar 1981: "Marroquín did not declare that public order had been restored until 1 June 1903, and the lack of guarantees led Liberals to boycott the congressional elections of that year" (page 187).

Osterling 1989: The "war, which lasted over three years and left some 100,000 dead, finally ended on 1 June 1903 when the Liberal Party forces were finally defeated by the Conservative armies" (page 74).

Sanders 1982: "It was...’historical’ Conservatives, whose tolerant attitude toward the Liberals undermined a harsh, uncompromising Conservative-dominated administration in 1903, that ended the bloody civil war of 1,000 Days and initiated a new regime controlled by Conservatives but including Liberals in important governmental posts" (page 2).


Delpar 1981: The Colombian senate rejects the Hay-Herrán treaty (page 185).

Holt 1964: "The Colombian Senate rejected [the Hay-Herrán Treaty], partly because of the generally demoralized state of Colombian politics following the civil war of 1899-1902 and partly because it felt Colombia could secure better terms by holding out" (page 32).


Holt 1964: "On November 3, 1903, the revolution occurred...On November 6, the United States recognized Panamanian independence; on November 11, the government of Colombia was formally notified that the United States would oppose the landing of Colombian troops; and on November 18, the United States and Panama signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty providing for the construction of the canal by the United States" (page 32).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "The War of a Thousand Days left the country too weak to prevent Panama’s secession from the republic in 1903" (page 28).


Presidential election (Reyes / PC)

Bushnell 1993: Gives votes for two Conservative candidates (page 290).

Henderson 1985: "Reyes was to fill the 1904-08 term in a hotly contested election, in which splintered Conservative and Liberal parties backed two Conservative candidates. He won on a platform promising a bipartisan government of ‘Concordia Nacional’ and featuring strong centralization of authority in Bogotá" (page 52).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Resultados electorales para presidente – 1904" (pages 145-148). Gives votes for thirteen presidential candidates by electoral district, blank votes, null votes, and total votes. Source is Diario oficial of August 1904.

Oquist 1980: Describes the 1904 election (pages 79-80).

Sowell 1986: Reyes is "favored by some old Nationalists and by most of those Liberals who enjoyed the opportunity to vote. Historical Conservatives and other Nationalists backed Joaquín F. Vélez,…who in the end lost a notoriously corrupt election" (page 292).

Sturges-Vera 1990: General Rafael Reyes is "elected president in 1904 with the support of moderate Conservatives" (page 28).

Violence in Colombia 1992: Reyes is a "pragmatic Conservative [who] integrates Liberals into his government" (page x).

April and May: election

Delpar 1981: "(M)unicipal, departmental, and congressional elections [are] scheduled for mid-1904" (page 187).


Oquist 1980: "Disaffected by the postwar coalition cabinet with the Liberals and by the economic policies of the National Concord, a majority of the Conservatives in Congress opposed Reyes’s legislative measures. The president reacted by closing Congress in December 1904 and by sending to concentration camps a prominent group of opposition Conservatives" (page 80).


Bushnell 1993: "(I)n early 1905 [Reyes] convoked [in Congress’s] place a national assembly, whose members were to be named directly by departmental administrators… The method of choosing the assembly produced a substantial contingent of Liberal delegates" (page 158).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "De 1905 a 1909 no hay elecciones ciudadanas…Por Acto Legislativo número 5 de marzo de 1905 reformatorio de la Constitución, se prolongó el período presidencial hasta diciembre 31 de 1914…Termina el sistema de escrutinios mayoritario por personas o nominativas en circunscripciones uninominales o plurinominales para la Cámara y las legislaturas provinciales o estatales" (page 149).

Oquist 1980: "Reyes replaced the Congress with a National Assembly selected by the executive, which was two-thirds Conservative and one-third Liberal" (page 80).

Rausch 1999: "General Reyes was determined to break the power of the regional elites who in the past had challenged Bogotá’s hegemony. To weaken their influence, in 1905 he prodded Congress into reorganizing the republic into thirty-one departments with each subdivided into ‘municipios’" (page 17).

Sowell 1986: "The president’s antipathy toward congress increased during the first months of 1905, leading him to dismiss that body, convene a National Assembly in its stead, and force through an extension by four years of his term in office" (page 292).

Sturges-Vera 1990: Reyes "abolished Congress and replaced it with a National Assembly composed of three representatives from each department, selected by department officials appointed by Reyes" (page 29).


Sowell 1986: "Reyes’s bipartisan inclination, combined with lingering resentment of the fraud which gained him office, alienated some Conservatives to the point that they prepared to assassinate him on December 19, 1905. The conspiracy was discovered however, and its planners were arrested and put on trial" (page 292).


ICSPS 1966: "In 1906 the adoption of proportional representation enabled Liberals to win seats in all elected bodies" (page 8).


Sowell 1986: "In early 1909…the president was forced to reconvene the National Assembly in order to ratify the treaties his government had negotiated with Panama and the United States to settle the conflict resulting from the loss of the Isthmus" (page 297).


Sowell 1986: "The Republican Union was formally organized in April…Its principles included bipartisan politics, open elections, and religious toleration" (page 299).


Bergquist 1978: "In June Reyes presided over a congressional election that gave a majority to a new party, the Republican Union. The new party was bipartisan in composition, led by Liberals and Historical Conservatives not closely identified with Reyes during the last years of the Quinquenio" (page 245).

Gibson 1989: In 1909, putting "aside differences that had caused two large-scale civil wars in the nineteenth century, the Liberal and Conservative Parties united to overthrow the dictatorship of Rafael Reyes. They subsequently formed a coalition government and inaugurated a democratic regime tightly controlled by members of the two-party elite. This ‘oligarchic democracy’ was predicated on a series of understandings between the Conservative and Liberal leaders. The most important of these was the bipartisan nature of the system" (page 165).

Rausch 1999: "After [Reyes’] abrupt departure into exile on June 13, 1909, a hastily convened National Assembly dominated by the Republican Union Party proceeded to revoke the most repressive measures of his dictatorship, and one of its most important acts was to restore the departments and intendancies that had existed before he took office in 1904" (page 18).

Sowell 1986: "Republicans were very successful in the Jun 1909 elections, and they would be a powerful force in Colombian politics through the 1910s. Once again artisans, now joined by industrialists and workers, would assume increased importance with the momentary collapse of the two-party system" (page 299).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "In June 1909, the Republican Union, a bipartisan group of Liberals and Historical Conservatives who opposed Reyes, won a majority in the congressional elections held to reestablish the Colombian Congress. In acknowledgment of the political current against him, Reyes secretly resigned later that month and left the country" (page 30).

Presidential election (González /PC)

Bergquist 1978: "Reyes’s voluntary exile on June 13, 1909, left Jorge Holguín in charge of the government until the new congress convened in July and elected a successor to serve out the remainder of Reyes’s original six-year term, due to expire on August 7, 1910. The man elected by the congress was Ramón González Valencia, the Historical Conservative, coffee-growing general from Santander who had taken office as vice-president along with Reyes in 1904" (page 248).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "(E)l Congreso Constitucional en su sesión del 3 de agosto eligió al General Ramón González Valencia Presidente de la República para el período de un año que terminaría el 7 de agosto de 1910" (page 150). Gives the number of votes for three candidates.


Sowell 1986: "In November 1909, elections were held throughout the country for municipal councils, who in turn selected delegates to a National Assembly the following April" (page 300).



Bergquist 1978: "In order to deal with the issue of constitutional reform, on February 25, 1910, González Valencia decreed the convocation of a new National Assembly" (page 251).

April: election

Bergquist 1978: The constituent assembly is "elected by the municipios in April, 1910" (page 251).

May: constituent assembly convened

Archer and Shugart 1997: "In 1910, the first limitations were placed on the president’s power…(T)he 1910 amendment was also the one that established the direct popular election of the president, thus opening up the possibility that the president would be a less reliable agent of the Congress than those elected under the pre-1910 procedure, which employed an electoral college elected on the same basis as the Congress itself" (pages 126-127).

Arizmendi Posada 1989: "La Asamblea se instaló en Bogotá el 15 de mayo de ese año. Un total de 29 conservadores y 17 liberales, representantes de las diversas regiones nacionales, efectuaron una útil tarea" (page 203).

Bergquist 1978: The "National Assembly convened in Bogotá on May 25" (page 251). Gives details of legislation passed. "Although one of the provisions of the Constitutional Reform of 1910 called for the direct popular election of the president of the nation, the National Assembly, perhaps because reformist forces feared that a popular election might endanger their recently acquired control of national politics, made an exception for the presidential term beginning on August 7, 1910" (page 252).

Bushnell 1993: "A constitutional reform in 1910 made permanent the principle of guaranteed minority representation in Congress..; at the same time it reduced the presidential term to four years, with prohibition of immediate reelection" (pages 161-162).

Galbraith 1966: "The National Constituent Assembly was convened in 1910 and passed reforms of the Constitution which included the annual meeting of Congress, popular election of the President for four years, and the replacement of the post of Vice-President by a ‘Designado’ elected by Congress. The reformed Constitution required literacy, property, or income qualifications to vote in the election of national officials" (page 142).

Hartlyn 1988: "A Constituent Assembly, established by the Republicanos in 1910, confirmed minority representation. It also decreed direct presidential elections for a four-year term with no immediate presidential re-election" (page 26).

Henderson 1985: A national constituent assembly in 1910 "changed national law to permit the direct popular election of the president, departmental assemblies, and municipal ‘concejos.’ Significantly, ‘winner-take-all’ elections, which for a quarter of a century had been won by Conservatives through manipulation of electoral machinery, were banned and replaced by a system of proportionate voting that would allow minority parties (i.e. the Liberal party) to gain representation in political corporations" (page 55).

Planas 1997: "En 1910, la ‘generación del Centenario’ decide ‘democratizar’ el texto de 1886: suprime la reelección presidencial inmediata, reduce el período presidencial de seis a cuatro años y consagra la elección directa del Presidente de la República, la representación de minorías, el control constitucional directo por la Corte Suprema y el control difuso por vía judicial" (page 396).

Sowell 1986: The "assembly enacted major constitutional reforms, including the reduction of the presidential term of office to four years, the establishment of direct popular presidential elections, and guaranteed minority party representation (1/3 of all seats in congress). The assembly also selected Carlos E. Restrepo as the country’s president for a four year term" (page 300).

Tirado Mejía 1991: "(E)n el año de 1910,…se establece, a través de una Reforma Constitucional, el voto directo para presidente de la República y la supresión de la intermediación de los colegios electorales. Pero continúan manteniéndose las restricciones al sufragio, entre las cuales se cuenta la cualidad de saber leer y escribir, o el tener una renta anual de trescientos pesos o alguna propiedad raíz por valor de mil pesos" (page 74).

Villanueva 1994: "En 1910 se establece el voto directo para la elección presidencial, ejercido por vez primera en las elecciones de 1914" (page 65).

July: presidential election (Restrepo / UR)

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "En la sesión del 15 de julio de 1910 la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente eligió Presidente de la Unión Republicana para un período de cuatro años al doctor Carlos E. Restrepo…Eligió igualmente primero y segundo Designados para ejercer el poder llegado el caso" (page 150). Gives the number of votes cast for each of the candidates for president or designate.


Henderson 1985: "Restrepo’s government, which stressed national conciliation, featured bipartisan cooperation and power-sharing in the political arena" (page 54). He "initiated his ‘Republican Union’ program by appointing prominent Liberals to national and departmental government and speaking out in favor of standardized voting procedures as well as stiff penalties for electoral fraud. Restrepo’s political program was an unmitigated disaster" (page 55).

Posada-Carbó 1997: "Every other year from 1911 on, elections took place for diputados in February, representantes in May, concejales in October" (page 262).

Sowell 1986: Elections in 1911 were held "for departmental assemblies in February, for senators and representatives in May, and for municipal councils in October" (page 303). "The elections of 1911 revealed a voting pattern that held firm throughout the decade. Four groups, Conservatives, Liberals, Republicans, and Workers, exerted significant electoral strength. Only Conservatives, however, had demonstrated the capacity to achieve electoral victory without alliances" (page 310).

February: departmental assembly election

Sowell 1986: "In a serene election, marred only by registration difficulties encountered by workers, the Liberal Bloc tallied 5,124 votes; Conservatives garnered 3,593; and the Republican list trailed with 1,907 ballots in their favor. According to 1910 election reform laws, this meant that both Liberals and Conservative deputies were to make up Bogotá’s representation in the departmental assembly" (page 305).

May: congressional election

Sowell 1986: "When the election was finally held, it was reportedly rather peaceful…The ‘liga’ received 7,083 votes in Bogotá as opposed to 4,936 ballots for Conservatives" (page 307).

October: municipal election

Sowell 1986: "The results of the voting illustrated very clearly the various political currents flowing through the capital. The Conservative list finished first with 2,750 votes; the Liberal list received 2,050 votes; the Workers Party was third with 1,850; Republicans tallied 1,350; and other groups shared 500 votes" (page 309).


Henderson 1985: In Tolima, "Conservatives viewed the stirrings of their old adversaries with a jaundiced eye, particularly when it became known that the Liberals intended to vote heavily in the election for departmental deputies set for February 2, 1913" (page 56). "(A)ll Tolima voted in an election that Liberals hoped would win them a majority in the departmental Assembly. Voting was heavy and fraud widespread, though it did not appear to be a decisive factor in the contest. When the votes were counted, results indicated that, for the first time since 1886, the Liberals would control the Assembly" (page 57). There were three elections scheduled in 1913 (page 63).

Sowell 1986: Departmental assembly elections are held in February 1913 (pages 315-316), congressional elections in May (page 316), and municipal elections in October (page 319).


Presidential election (Concha /PC)

Arizmendi Posada 1989: "Concha resultó así electo para la magistratura nacional y se convertía en el mandatario que comenzaba la larga lista de presidentes elegidos por voto directo en lo que va del siglo, después de la reforma constitucional de 1910" (page 209).

Bushnell 1993: Gives votes for two candidates (page 290).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Elecciones para presidente de la república: escrutinio efectuado por el Gran Consejo Electoral, 10 de febrero de 1914" (page 151). Gives by department the number of votes for two candidates. Source is El Liberal of March 1914. "A partir de 1914 se establece el sufragio directo de los ciudadanos para elecciones presidenciales."

Oquist 1980: Describes the 1914 presidential election (page 82).


Henderson 1985: "October 4, 1915, was the date set for the first election of ‘concejales’ in Colombia under the electoral reforms of 1910" (pages 63-64).

Sowell 1986: Departmental elections are held in February 1915 (page 322), congressional elections in May (page 323), and municipal council elections in October (page 323).


Sowell 1986: Departmental elections are held in February 1917 (page 329) and congressional elections in May (page 330).



Bergquist 1986: "Organized by anarcho-syndicalists and supported by river and railway transport workers and urban artisans, a general strike shook Barranquilla in early January 1918 and spread to the port cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta. The strikes jolted public opinion through Colombia, led to the imposition of a state of siege in the entire Caribbean coastal region, resulted in a government decree regulating strike activity that set the precedent for much subsequent labor legislation, and encouraged workers at the huge United Fruit complex near Santa Marta to submit their first petition for improvements in working conditions and wages" (pages 331-332).

February: presidential election (Suárez / PC)

Bushnell 1993: Gives votes for four candidates (page 290).

Hartlyn 1988: "In 1918, the Liberals did not even present their own presidential candidate; rather, they supported a dissident Conservative hoping to promote a division within the governing party" (page 28).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Elecciones presidenciales del 10 de febrero de 1918" (page 152). Gives the number of votes for three candidates by department, the number of blank votes, null votes, and total votes. Source is the Acta del Gran Consejo Electoral.

Oquist 1980: "In 1918, the official Conservative party nominated Marco Fidel Suárez to replace Concha in the presidency, while a Conservative dissident group, animated by Laureano Gómez, backed the unsuccessful candidacy of Guillermo Valencia. The Liberals, led by General Benjamín Herrera, supported Valencia" (page 82).


Bergquist 1986: "During 1919 continuing labor unrest in the coastal zone, small strikes by artisans in the major cities of the nation, and large-scale, coordinated strikes by railway workers in the nation’s nerve center and economic heartland, the department of Cundinamarca, combined to incourage passage of legislation to regulate labor conflict" (page 332).

Hartlyn 1988: "In 1919…a newly formed Socialist Party published a platform" (page 28).

February: departmental election

Sowell 1986: Departmental elections are held in February 1919 (page 335).


Pearce 1990: "A widespread peasant response to the exploitative conditions in the countryside began in the 1920s. Disputes grew over land rights and tenancy agreements and, in the Cauca and Nariño departments, Indians mounted resistance to attempts to dismantle the remaining ‘resguardos.’ Resistance was led by Quintín Lame who organised a rebellion in the Cauca between 1914 and 1918, and later in Huila and Tolima" (pages 38-39).

Peeler 1985: "Though Gaitán had given up the leadership of an independent socialist party in the 1920s in order to return to the Liberal fold, and though his rhetoric was populist rather than socialist, he still constituted the most radical assault on the established order in Colombian history" (page 55).


Hartlyn 1988: "In the Congressional elections of 1921, [the Socialist Party] received a respectable percentage in urban areas, actually outpolling the Liberal Party in Medellín with 23% of the vote" (page 28).


Bushnell 1993: "Holguín (Conservative), presidential designate, completes term at resignation of Suárez" (page 291).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "El 9 de noviembre de 1921 renunció Marco Fidel Suárez. El Congreso nombra como Designado al General Jorge Holguín" (page 152).


Payne 1968: "Departmental comparisons of electoral violence, 1921-22" (page 102).

Valdés 2000: "Se modifica la ley [en 1922], permitiendo a la mujer disponer de sus joyas y de los instrumentos de su profesión. Sin embargo, se mantiene la representación legal de la mujer y de la sociedad conyugal en el marido" ("Anexo").

March: presidential election (Ospina / PC)

Arizmendi Posada 1989: Ospina es "candidato único del conservatismo a la presidencia, y tiene como competidor al general Benjamín Herrera, candidato único del liberalismo. Ospina gana en el terreno de los sufragios: obtiene 413.619 votos y Herrera 156.231" (page 223).

Bushnell 1993: Gives total votes for two candidates and "others" (page 291).

Fluharty 1957: "In 1922 General Pedro Nel Ospina became president of Colombia. Times were hard, and there was widespread popular agitation and liberal complaint. The Conservatives were playing out a long string of victories, but increasing demand for a change was lending new strength to the long-powerless Liberal party. Liberals had cooperated in the cabinet of the previous administration, but had run a candidate against Ospina with impressive results" (pages 30-31).

Hartlyn 1988: "In the 1922 campaign,…massive fraud, traditional partisan appeals, Church support and violence guaranteed a high rural vote and electoral victory for the Conservative candidate, though the Liberals did extremely well in urban areas. Following the election, the Liberals withdrew from government and refused to participate in the 1926 presidential elections" (page 29).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "1922-1926: elecciones presidenciales" (page 153). Gives by department the number of votes for three candidates and "otros," blank votes, null votes, and total votes.

Oquist 1980: Describes the 1922 election (page 83).


Henderson 1985: "(I)n April 1922 a remarkable man appeared in southern Tolima who led the Indians in a long campaign against white encroachment. Manuel Quintín Lame, an Indian militant from Valle del Cauca, was already well known in Colombia. After more than a decade of activity, he was driven from his home and ultimately settled in Tolima" (page 75).


Sharpless 1978: "Early in 1923 Gaitán was elected to the departmental assembly of Cundinamarca from the city of Girardot" (page 41).


Henderson 1985: "In 1924 Quintín Lame, acting in concert with two ‘tolimense’ Indians..., formed the Supreme Indian Council. Through it, they founded a town named San José de Indias and set about reconstituting the ‘resguardos’" (page 75).

Oquist 1980: "The assassination in 1924 of the prominent Liberal leader Justo L. Durán...increased pressures within the Liberal party for armed action" (page 83).


Oquist 1980: "Electoral incidents in the municipal campaign of 1925 led to the Liberal minority temporarily retiring from Congress in protest" (page 84). "In 1925, railway strikes in Cundinamarca, especially the successful strike of the Ferrocarril del Pacífico in Valle, led to an increase in the strength of the labor movement" (page 101).


Alexander 1957: The Partido Socialista Revolucionario is founded in 1926 (page 244).

Bergquist 1986: "By 1926 the Colombian labor movement had acquired some national unity and direction under the leadership of the Partido Socialista Revolucionari (PSR). A Marxist party affiliated with the Comintern, the PSR was formed out of early socialist cadres and dissident left-wing Liberals" (page 344).

Oquist 1980: "In 1926, the Third Workers’ Congress formed the ‘Partido Socialista Revolucionario.’ This party began to coordinate the labor movement" (page 101).

February 14: presidential election (Abadía Méndez / PC)

Abel 1987: "El régimen conservador parecía invencible cuando Miguel Abadía Méndez ocupó la primera magistratura en 1926. No obstante, la unidad conservadora estaba amenazada en todos los niveles" (page 99).

Bushnell 1993: Gives total votes for Abadía and "others" (page 291).

Fluharty 1957: "The Conservatives had been in power since 1886. When Abadía Méndez succeeded Ospina in 1926, his election was partially due to the abstention of the dispirited Liberals, who neither presented a candidate nor voted. By the end of Méndez’ term, however, Liberal fortunes were on the rise" (page 39).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Elecciones presidenciales del 14 de febrero de 1926" (page 153). Gives by department the votes for Abadia Méndez, "otros," blank votes, and total votes.


Horgan 1983: "In 1927, strikes in the oil fields in the Santanders led to a complete stoppage by transport workers on the Magdalena…The government responded to this agitation with the ‘Ley Heroica.’ This law curtailed civil rights. Many viewed it as an infringement on the liberty of all Colombians; Liberals in particular claimed that it destroyed freedom. The first major crisis faced after the law was passed, but before it was promulgated, was the strike in the banana zone" (pages 39-40).

Oquist 1980: "In 1927, the Liberals adopted a policy of total electoral abstention" (page 84).


Oquist 1980: "United Fruit was particularly vulnerable because early in 1928 ‘El Tiempo’ had published an exposé of how the company controlled local officials in the Department of Magdalena" (page 101). Discusses other issues involved.


Bergquist 1986: "First oil and then banana workers mounted the great, sustained strikes that culminated in the infamous slaughter of perhaps a thousand striking banana workers and their families near Santa Marta in December 1928. It was the worst labor massacre in Colombian labor history" (page 334).

Hartlyn 1988: "A strike against the United Fruit Company in 1928 was brutally repressed, seriously affecting the reputation of the Conservative government" (page 29).

Henderson 1985: "Antigovernment feelings rose to new heights all across Colombia when, late in 1928, government soldiers attacked and massacred striking banana harvesters on the Atlantic coast. Socialists labeled it as a blatant example of the national government working in league with foreign exploiters of the people, in this case the United Fruit Company" (page 71).

Horgan 1983: "Predictably, the government blamed outside agitators for the outbreaks of violence that started after a long impasse. A state of siege was declared on 4 December, and on 6 December, General Carlos Cortés Vargas ordered the army to open fire on the multitude of strikers in the central plaza of Ciénaga. The army counted eighty bodies, but the total death toll was closer to one thousand" (page 41).


Alexander 1957: "The high point of the [Partido Socialista Revolucionaria’s] history was the banana workers’ strike in 1928" (page 245). "Soon after, the P.S.R. began to decline in membership and influence. The reason for this was that all those members of the party who were essentially Liberals withdrew to support the 1930 election campaign of the Liberal Party, in which, for the first time in many years, the Liberals appeared to have a chance to win" (page 246).


Horgan 1983: "As of January 1929, the Abadía administration still had not decided to support publicly any presidential candidate for the 1930 elections. The government was trying to ‘discover’ the candidate who would not alienate any significant sector of the Conservative party" (page 38).

February: departmental assemblies election

Horgan 1983: "There were three elections in 1929. The first two were important because those elected would be instrumental in the nominating process for the next Conservative standard bearer in the 1930 presidential election. The first election was in February, to renew the departmental assemblies. The assemblies would elect the Senate" (pages 42-43). "Immediately after the Assembly elections in 1929, which were inconclusive, the government began to take positive steps to assume control in the coming congressional elections" (page 45).

May: congressional election

Horgan 1983: "Two-thirds of the seats in each district went to the majority party, and one-third to the minority party…Many Liberals did not vote in the 1929 elections because they know that their party would receive only one-third of the seats anyway" (page 25). "The second election was for members of the lower chamber. The conservative members of Congress chose the Conservative candidate for president" (page 43).

Sharpless 1978: Gaitán "had made an arduous campaign in the lower-class neighborhoods of Bogotá and the villages of Cundinamarca that resulted in his election to the House of Representatives on a dissident Liberal list" (page 57).


Fluharty 1957: "In the summer of 1929, the condition of the workers under the hand of the oligarchy was dramatically portrayed for the nation. The peasants in the banana zone had struck against intolerable conditions, and the Army had been called in to suppress it. Brutality and bloodshed marked the repression, 1,400 peasants losing their lives, while 2,000 had been wounded and scores summarily tried and jailed. Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, even then the champion of the masses, and a member of Congress, went to the zone to make a personal investigation. In the summer of 1929, he laid his findings before Congress…From the testimony emerged the fact that the Conservative Méndez government had used the Army to insure ‘social peace’ for a foreign company, at a total and cold disregard for the welfare of native Colombians" (page 38).


Oquist 1980: "Violence erupted in June 1929 when the government sought to repress street demonstrations in Bogotá that protested municipal government scandals" (page 84).


Oquist 1980: "In July 1929 there occurred a badly organized armed insurrection in various parts of the country. Coordinated by the ‘Consejo Central Conspirativo’...of the ‘Confederación Obrera Nacional’...and the ‘Partido Socialista Revolucionario’..., this rebellion involved socialists and belligerent Liberals associated with labor and agrarian movements, as well as veteran Liberal guerrillas from the War of a Thousand Days" (page 84).

October: municipal election

Horgan 1983: "The third election [of 1929] was for municipal councils. It was held in October" (page 43).


Dugas 2000: "(A)s subordinate classes began to organize to advance their own interests, the traditional parties made at least some attempt to channel these new demands through existing partisan structures. This was most evident in the efforts by sectors of the PL to incorporate the burgeoning labor movement in the 1930s" (page 84).

Rausch 1999: "By 1930 more than half of Colombia’s territory was divided into four intendancies and six comisarías, each ruled by an all-powerful governor appointed by the president. By virtue of the Convention on Missions of 1902, each territory had also been designated an apostolic vicariate or prefecture and assigned to a religious order" (page 26).

February 9: presidential election (Olaya Herrera / PL)

Abel 1987: "Los conservadores se dividieron en la escogencia del candidato presidencial para las elecciones de 1930…Parecía probable que se llegase a un acuerdo, ya que los candidatos no diferían en sus políticos; pero, en 1929, la situación económica se deterioró rápidamente. Las campañas de los candidatos coincidieron con la caída del precio mundial del café" (page 100). "Alrededor de Olaya se formó una amplia coalición. Su candidatura despertó sentimientos ancestrales y animó a los veteranos de la Guerra de los Mil Días junto con los activistas del partido que se sentían engañados por las elecciones de 1922. Muchos conservadores se sintieron atraídos por la candidatura de Olaya" (page 101).

Alexander 1957: "The P.S.R. received only a few hundred votes for its presidential nominee, Alberto Castillón…several of the ex-members of the P.S.R. played leading parts in the Olaya Herrera administration…As a result of their deserting the P.S.R., it was reduced to a very minor role in the country’s political life" (page 246).

Alexander 1973: "The Liberal Party…came to power for the first time in half a century in 1930. As the result of a split in the Conservative ranks, Enrique Olaya Herrera, the Liberal nominee, won the election that year" (page 34).

Bushnell 1993: Gives votes for three candidates and "others" (page 291).

Eastman 1982: "Votación para presidente de la república período 1930-1934" (page 683). Gives votes for major candidates in all departments and intendencies.

Fluharty 1957: "The challenge of the times was not a partisan one, but of a class nature. Therefore, Moderate Conservatives of the upper classes joined with the Liberals in asking Olaya to run for the presidency…A fusion ticket was drawn up. Olaya returned to Colombia, made a three-weeks campaign, and was elected to head a government called ‘Concentración Nacional’ (National Concentration). What the Liberals could not do, the Conservatives did for them. Parties had lost meaning. The issue was revolution, or holding the line against popular reform" (pages 41-42).

Henderson 1985: "As soon as President Olaya Herrera assumed power in 1930, a process of bureaucratic housecleaning began that gradually extended from the governor down to the lowest appointed officials. Every ‘alcalde’ and ‘corregidor’ named by the new administration was a Liberal, as were tax collectors, postmasters, wardens of jails, and other appointees. Colombia’s was a spoils system par excellence, and every citizen accepted that fact without question" (page 83).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Elecciones presidenciales del 9 de febrero de 1930" (page 154). Gives votes by department for three candidates, total votes, blank votes, and grand total votes. The number of registered voters is 987,504.

Horgan 1983: "The election" (pages 160-176). Detailed report on the 1930 presidential election.

Kline 1995: "The election of Olaya led to violence between the two parties and to clashes between police and peasants attempting to improve their land-tenure situations that proved a harbinger of things to come" (page 41).

Martz 1997: "As Enrique Olaya Herrera recognized, his victory by plurality in 1930 had been achieved only as a consequence of the Conservative division. He had won but 44.9 percent of the vote…, while two-thirds of congress was controlled by the opposition. The new chief executive therefore named four Conservatives to his cabinet and chose six as state governors" (pages 49-50).

Oquist 1980: "The crisis of the Conservative regime was further complicated by the presentation of two presidential candidates in 1930, Guillermo Valencia and General Alfredo Vásquez Cobo. Under ordinary circumstances the Catholic Church would have proved decisive in determining which of the two would be the official Conservative party candidate. However, the church hierarchy vacillated between the two candidates and, in the end, it also was divided...Olaya Herrera won a simple majority in the election while the two Conservative candidates divided an absolute majority of the vote...The Conservatives retained control of the Congress, and the National Concentration cabinet was formed of half Liberals and half Conservatives " (page 85). Describes issues involved in the election (page 156).

Peeler 1985: The "dynamically stable elite republic began to come unraveled in the 1930s. The Liberals captured the presidency in the election of 1930, taking advantage of a split in the Conservative party" (page 28).

Posada-Carbó 1997: "On February 9, 1930, a Liberal, Enrique Olaya Herrera, defeated at the polls a divided Conservative Party in Colombia, bringing down a regime that had been in power since 1886, the so-called Hegemonía Conservadora…Although he was the Liberal Party candidate, Olaya Herrera ran under the banner Concentración Nacional to attract non-Liberal voters" (page 245).

Posada Carbó 1998: Discusses the importance of the 1930 election and events that influenced its outcome.

Rausch 1999: "Enrique Olaya Herrera, a moderate Liberal, was elected in 1930 only after a discredited Conservative Party, faced with falling prices, unemployment, and labor unrest precipitated by the crash of 1929, made the tactical error of running two candidates, which split the majority Conservative vote" (page 27).

Schoultz 1972: "Colombia’s progress toward modern populist politics began with the election of 1930, when Liberal Enrique Olaya Herrera, taking advantage of an internal feud in the opposition, was able to end fifty years of Conservative domination of national politics. Confused by the world depression and plagued by inexperience, the Olaya administration was not noted for its innovations" (page 32).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "As a result of the Liberal victory, many of the privileges that had been afforded to Conservatives through patronage politics were now denied. Because the president appointed the governors, who in turn appointed the municipal mayors, the transfer of power from the PC to the PL at the presidential level was felt at the municipal level" (page 32).

Wilde 1978: In 1930 "party elites found a new basis for ‘convivencia’ in the National Concentration coalition of Enrique Olaya Herrera, who had been part of the earlier Republican Union of 1910-14" (page 34).


Alexander 1957: The name of the PSR is changed to Partido Comunista in 1930 (page 246).


Abel 1987: "Los liberales presionaron a Olaya para que introdujera reformas electorales. Estaban asfixiados por las limitaciones electorales que las administraciones conservadoras habían fijado fraudulentamente y por el registro de votos que se había organizado de una manera discriminatoria. Olaya, sin embargo, rechazó las aspiraciones liberales; en parte par apaciguar a los conservadores y en parte para asegurar su posición en el futuro, haciendo que los gobiernos de coalición se convirtieran en un rasgo permanente de la política colombiana" (page 103).

Horgan 1983: "Law 60 (2 December 1930) reformed the electoral process itself…The elections were postponed by redating all elections…Olaya also pushed a bill through Congress (Ley 72 of 13 December 1930) which took the armed forces out of the election" (page 315).


Abel 1987: "La Convención Nacional Conservadora de 1931, la primera realizada en el lapso de una generación, se proponía sanar viejas heridas, pero sólo sirvió para enconarlas. Veinticuatro de los ochenta y ocho congresistas conservadores no asistieron" (page 104).

Hartlyn 1988: "Partisan violence, particularly in rural areas,…intensified during the 1931 elections for departmental assemblies in February, for Congress in May and for municipal councils in October. Liberals attempted to consolidate their electoral victory and remove Conservative office-holders, and Conservatives attempted to protect their position" (pages 29-30).

February: departmental assembly election

Abel 1987: "Los conservadores [en el departamento de Boyacá] se quejaban de que el gobierno departamental había enviado un número excesivo de cédulas de ciudadanía a los municipios liberales y un número insuficiente a los conservadores; de que la policía estaba empleando la ley de vagancia para alejar a los conservadores de los comicios y de que los liberales no estaban respetando la reglamentación electoral. En los Santanderes, liberales y conservadores recurrieron a la violencia para asegurar sus posiciones" (page 104).

Eastman 1982: "Votación para asambleas departamentales 1 de febrero de 1931" (page 615). Gives number of votes for each party and total votes in each department.

Horgan 1983: "Assembly elections of 1 February 1931" (pages 225-272). Detailed report on the election.

Oquist 1980: "The 1931 local elections were accompanied by accusations of political interventions by the clergy, electoral violence, and widespread recourse to fraud. On occasion, fraud was mutually accepted, and it served as a mechanism for eliminating violence. For example, in several municipalities of the Department of Bolívar, local politicians negotiated pacts between the two parties prior to the elections by which the results were predetermined; both parties then conspired to produce the desired electoral return fraudulently" (page 104).

May: congressional election

Abel 1987: "La Depresion Mundial y el resurgimiento liberal sacudieron considerablemente la composición de la élite gobernante. En el Senado se reflejaba una transición más general después de las elecciones de 1931. Sólo seis de los antiguos senadores fueron re-elegidos" (page 105).

Eastman 1982: "Votación para cámara 1o de mayo de 1931" (page 639). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes.

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 1o de mayo de 1931" (page 227). Gives by department the number of votes for Liberals, Conservatives, others, and total votes.

Horgan 1983: "The congressional elections" (pages 272-285). Detailed report on the 1931 congressional election.

Martz 1997: "Soon after taking office the Liberals concluded that electoral realities precluded their securing of legislative majorities; they consequently applied force in such Conservative strongholds as Boyacá and Norte de Santander. Local brokers destroyed ballot boxes, intimidated Conservative voters, or baldly rigged the count. The Liberal determination to retain power required electoral fraud and armed violence on a massive scale" (page 50).

Sharpless 1978: Gaitán is "elected to the Liberal Party Directorate in 1931, following his reelection to the House of Representatives with the help of Olaya" (page 65).



Horgan 1983: "Ley 7 (27 August) of 1932 called for the assigning of legislative seats according to the percentage of votes each slate received" (page 317).


Horgan 1983: "On 1 September 1932, an unexpected crisis fell into Olaya’s lap. Peruvians attacked and seized Leticia, the Colombian Amazon port. The resulting conflict dominated President Olaya’s thoughts during the last two years of his administration" (page 480).


Dix 1987: "During the 1930s Jorge Eliécer Gaitán and other dissident Liberals founded the Revolutionary Leftist National Union (UNIR) when the Liberal Party failed to make a ‘revolution’ after its electoral victory in 1930...[Gaitán] and UNIR concentrated on mobilizing poor campesinos on coffee haciendas not far from Bogotá; workers were a lesser element in the movement" (page 103).

Harkess 1975: "Colombian constitutions historically denied women the right to vote—it was not until 1933 that a woman’s suffrage amendment to the Constitution was introduced" (page 440).

Lavrin 2000: "Colombians arrived late at the feminist table. Not until the early 1930s was suffrage discussed in the press and the Deputies’ Chambers. The only reforms accomplished in that decade were a loosening of the restriction on women’s civil rights and the opening of higher education to women" (page 192).

Pearce 1990: "(T)he Committee for Regional Inter-union Unity, UNIR, an organisation of intellectuals, students and professionals [was] founded in 1933 under the leadership of the radical Liberal, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán" (page 40).

February: departmental assembly election

Eastman 1982: "Votación para asambleas departamentales 5 de febrero de 1933" (page 615). Gives number of votes for each party and total votes in each department.

Horgan 1983: "The 1933 assembly elections" (pages 562-572). Detailed report on the election. "The results of the February 1933 assembly elections were more favorable than even the Liberal party had anticipated. They won in ten departments, and looked forward to the May 1933 congressional elections when the Liberal party would be able to take control of the lower house" (page 572).

Sharpless 1978: "The Liberal leadership removed [Gaitán’s] name from the electoral lists for 1933, and Gaitán was forced to run for departmental assemblies in Antioquia and Cundinamarca on dissident lists supported by workers, revolutionary socialists, and anarcho-syndicalists" (page 69).

May: congressional election

Eastman 1982: "Votación para cámara 14 de mayo de 1933" (page 639). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes.

Gibson 1989: "In 1933 [the Liberal Party] won election victories that demonstrated clear Liberal majorities for the first time in the century. Claiming electoral fraud, the Conservatives announced their abstention from future electoral competitions" (pages 165-166).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 14 de mayo de 1933" (page 227). Gives by department the number of votes for Liberals, Conservatives, others, and total votes.

Horgan 1983: "The 1933 congressional elections" (pages 584-602). Detailed report on the election.

October: municipal election

Eastman 1982: "Votación para concejos municipales 1933 (sin cédula)" (pages 287-295). Gives number of votes cast in each municipality. "Votación para concejos municipales, según secciones del país 1933" (page 295). Gives votes cast for Liberals and Conservatives and total votes cast in each department.

Horgan 1983: "The 1933 municipal elections" (pages 605-611). Detailed report on the election.

Oquist 1980: "After the October 1933 elections, the Conservative party announced its future abstention from national electoral contests, alleging massive fraud" (page 107).

Sharpless 1978: "In municipal elections in October 1933 Uniristas had won three of seven council seats in Fusagasugá and had made a considerable show of strength in other municipalities of Cundinamarca" (page 82).


Abel 1987: "Los liberales se lanzaron a tomar el control total de la maquinaria del gobierno ganando las elecciones de mitaca y las presidenciales en 1934. El objetivo de los activistas del partido era un dominio liberal duradero similar al que habían disfrutado los conservadores hasta 1930. "Los liberales le trabajaron concienzudamente a la maquinaria electoral en los departamentos. En otras palabras, había dos modelos diferentes de organización electoral en el corazón andino de Colombia. La mezcla poco sofisticada de persuasión y coerción en el oriente marcaba un fuerte contraste con la tradición de compromisos y negociaciones en el occidente" (page 103).

Valdés 2000: "Se presenta [en 1934] un proyecto de ley al Congreso colombiano para otorgar el derecho a voto a la mujer. No prospera" ("Anexo").

February 11: presidential election (López Pumarejo / PL)

Bushnell 1993: Gives votes for López and "others" (page 291).

Eastman 1982: "Votación para presidente de la república período 1934-1938" (page 684). Gives votes for major candidates in all departments and intendencies.

Hartlyn 1988: "By 1934, a Liberal ‘Republic’ had emerged. Mindful of past Conservative fraud and exclusivism, Liberals employed highly fraudulent elections to place Alfonso López Pumarejo, in any event the only candidate, in the presidency" (page 30).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Elecciones presidenciales del 11 de febrero de 1934" (page 155). Gives by department the votes for two candidates and "otros" and total votes. The Conservative party abstains and the number of potential voters is 1,542,441.

Kline 1995: López Pumarejo’s "presidency is commonly called the ‘Revolution on the March.’…(L)abor became a new actor in the political arena, and party divisions over this new protagonist worsened" (page 42).

Martz 1975: "Alfonso López first provided effective, social-minded direction upon his ascension to power in 1934. Himself a member of the aristocracy, López recognized the problems of the masses and took actions which branded him as disloyal to his class. A large part of the oligarchy never forgave López his ‘betrayal.’ It is worth noting that López’ departure from traditional political lines led to a schism within the Liberal party" (page 14).

Martz 1997: "When Alfonso López Pumarejo won the presidency in 1934, it was an uncontested race, yet one in which he received more votes than all three candidates four years earlier (938,934 to 823,787)" (page 50).

Peeler 1977: "With the election of Liberal Alfonso López in 1934…a major break with the traditional elite political culture was in store. López fostered a program of moderate social and economic reforms directed at symbolic improvements in the situation of the masses of the urban and rural population, pushed through a major democratization of the suffrage, and on the basis of these measures made an explicit bid to capture the political support of the newly enfranchised masses…Given the norm that the party in power does not attempt to destroy the party out of power, this would have been a tolerable, temporary situation, but López’ new departure appeared to many Conservative leaders as a bid for permanent hegemony. Hence, many Conservatives were receptive to the inflammatory, reactionary, militantly pro-clerical, proto-fascist and anti-liberal appeals of Laureano Gómez, who became the leading spokesman of the Colombian Conservative Party during the 1930s" (page 29).

Schoultz 1972: The administration of "Alfonso López Pumarejo…was…a radical departure from traditional Colombian politics. Although López’s ‘revolución en marcha’ was a classic example of moderately paced modernization by an established elite, it also exhibited populist tendencies. In an attack upon the plutocracy’s resource monopoly, López attempted to establish popular support as the dominant political currency" (pages 32-33).


Bergquist 1986: In 1935, Gaitán "first declared his party’s abstention from the elections, then decided to dissolve the UNIR and return to the Liberal fold" (page 354).

Henderson 1985: The "Conservative party announced a policy of electoral abstention in 1935. The political abstention sprang from Conservative anger over widespread harassment of party members by Liberals, particularly at election time, and from their belief that the Liberals were making elections so dishonest they could never regain power. A new system of voter registration was the chief bone of partisan contention. Designed as a reform of the existing system and put into effect in 1933, it required that each bona fide voter request a ‘tarjeta,’ or card, to present on election day as proof of registration. Because the cards were distributed by local registrars, all of whom were Liberals, the Conservatives assumed that the reform was just a ploy...Simply by denying them to Conservatives and distributing them lavishly to Liberals, the registrars could steal every election. These fears were well founded" (page 84).

May 6: departmental assembly election

Eastman 1982: "Votación para asambleas departamentales 1935" (page 616). Gives number of votes for liberals in each department.

Sharpless 1978: UNIR "ran candidates for departmental assemblies on May 6 in Antioquia, Tolima, and Cundinamarca…Its candidates secured only 3,800 votes out of more than 475,000 cast in the country" (page 82).

May 26: congressional election

Eastman 1982: "Votación para cámara 1935" (page 640). Gives total votes by department.

Fluharty 1957: "In the congressional elections of 1935, the Moderate Liberal-Conservative majority was toppled by a professedly reformist Liberal majority" (page 52).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 26 de mayo de 1935" (page 228). Gives by department the total votes cast.

Sharpless 1978: "In the congressional elections on May 26 Gaitán ran on a Liberal list, despite the fact that UNIR ran candidates separately" (page 82). "With his election as a Liberal to the House of Representatives in May 1935, Gaitán reentered the mainstream of Colombian politics" (page 85).

October: municipal election

Abel 1987: "En Barranquilla se fragmentaron [los liberales] en veintiocho listas durante las elecciones municipales de octubre, 1935; en Girardot sacaron tres listas; en Bogotá cuatro; y en Bucaramanga, cuatro" (page 118).

Eastman 1982: "Votación para concejos municipales 1935" (pages 296-316). Gives number of votes cast for Liberals and Conservatives in each municipality. "Votación para concejos municipales según secciones del país 1935" (page 317). Gives votes cast for Liberals, Conservatives, and "others" and total votes cast in each department.

Sharpless 1978: Gaitán wins "a seat on the Bogotá Municipal Council in October 1935" (page 87).


Bergquist 1986: In 1936 the Liberal party formalizes an "alliance with the single most important political force in the Colombian labor movement in the 1930’s and early 1940’s, the direct descendant of the Partido Socialista Revolucionario, the Communist Party of Colombia" (page 349).

Martz 1975: Gilberto Alzate Avendaño is dismissed from the Conservative party by Laureano Gómez but proceeds "to organize his own party in Medellín and Manizales, the Acción Nacionalista Popular (ANP). (H)e tried to little avail from 1936 to 1939 to win away Conservative supporters" (page 123).


Sharpless 1978: Gaitán’s "success posed a dilemma for López…The president therefore hit upon the expedient of appointing Gaitán to the important post of mayor of Bogotá, with the obvious intent of showing [him] up as an inept administrator and then disposing of him" (page 89). Gaitán takes office on June 8, 1936 (page 90).


Bushnell 1993: The 1936 "constitutional reform eliminated the literacy requirement for voting. Universal male suffrage, which had been first enacted in the 1850s and then repealed, was at last in place for good" (page 189).

Galbraith 1966: "In 1935, having by this time a majority in Congress, [López] asked for amendments to the Constitution to make it possible to carry out his policy, and these were adopted on 1 August 1936. He disestablished the Church, removed its control over education, and otherwise restricted it" (page 144).

Lavrin 2000: In "1936 a constitutional reform which established universal male suffrage expressly denied it to women, giving them the ‘right’ to take public jobs, even though they were not voting citizens" (page 192).

Rausch 1999: The Constitution of 1936 assigned the governance of the territories "to the rule of Congress but…by virtue of the Convention on Missions [they] remained the wards of religious communities" (page 54).

Tirado Mejía 1991: "En la Reforma Constitucional del año 36 no se le dieron derechos políticos a la mujer, pero sí se le permitió el ejercicio de ciertos cargos públicos que tuvieran anexa autoridad o jurisdicción, con el objeto de que empezara a participar en la judicatura como magistrada o como juez, pues ya empezaban a aparecer las primeras mujeres que asistían a la universidad" (pages 76-77).

Valdés 2000: "Durante el Gobierno de López Pumarejo, la Reforma Constitucional consagró , en su artículo octavo, el derecho de la mujer a desempeñar cargos públicos, anexando autoridad o jurisdicción, a pesar de que no era considerada ciudadana" ("Anexo").



Eastman 1982: "Votación para asambleas departamentales 1937" (page 616). Gives number of votes for Liberals in each department.


Sharpless 1978: Gaitán is ousted as mayor of Bogotá (page 93).

April: congressional election

Eastman 1982: "Votación para cámara 1937" (page 640). Gives total votes in each department.

Fluharty 1957: "The election of a heavy bloc of Moderate Liberals of the Santos persuasion in the 1937 congressional elections presaged the character of the coming battle" (page 58).

Hartlyn 1988: "(E)ven within his own party López experienced such intense opposition that he agreed that the country now required a ‘pause’ in reformism…[His] Liberal opponents [were victorious] in the 1937 Congressional elections" (page 35).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 4 de abril de 1937" (page 229). Gives by department the total votes cast.

Kline 1995: "The López Revolution on the March aggravated the factional divisions within the president’s party; by the time of the 1937 congressional elections, a real and lasting split had occurred among Liberals" (page 42).

October: municipal election

Eastman 1982: "Votación para concejos municipales 3 de octubre de 1937" (pages 318-343). Gives number of votes for each party, total votes cast, and number of councillors elected from each party in each municipality. "Votación para concejos municipales según secciones del país octubre de 1937" (page 344). Gives votes cast for each party, total votes cast, and councillors elected from each party in each department.

Sharpless 1978: In 1937, Gaitán is "reelected to the Municipal Council [of Bogotá] from the working-class neighborhoods over the opposition of El Tiempo and the city’s merchants" (page 94).


May 1: presidential election (Santos / PL)

Abel 1987: Describes the 1938 presidential campaign (pages 118-121).

Bushnell 1993: Eduardo Santos "in 1938 won the presidency unopposed, since the Conservatives again failed to put up a candidate of their own" (page 192). Gives votes for Santos and "others" (page 291).

Eastman 1982: "Votación para presidente de la república período 1938-1942" (page 685). Gives votes for only candidate in all departments and intendencies.

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Elecciones presidenciales del 1 de mayo de 1938" (page 156). Gives by department the votes for Eduardo Santos, blank votes, and total votes. The Conservative Party abstained. "La elección de Presidente de la República se hará cada cuatro años, el primer domingo de mayo, a partir de 1938; y el sufragio será universal para varones mayores de 21 años" (page 156).

Peeler 1985: The 1938 presidential election is the first in which the entire male population could vote (page 54). "By the late 1930s Colombian society was becoming highly polarized around the two antagonists, Gaitán and Gómez. Millions who had never before been called upon to participate politically were now being aroused by the conflicting rhetoric of these two leaders. The Liberal party itself was becoming steadily more fragmented" (page 55).


Valdés 2000: "Se realiza [en 1939] el I Congreso Nacional Femenino, del cual surgió la Alianza Femenina. Esta tenía como finalidad agrupar a las mujeres y asociaciones femeninas del país en torno a la adquisición de los derechos ciudadanos" ("Anexo").

March: congressional election

Eastman 1982: "Votación para cámara 1939" (page 641). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes.

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 1o de marzo de 1939" (page 230). Gives by department the votes cast for each party and total votes cast.

Sharpless 1978: Gaitán "failed to secure a place on a Liberal electoral list for the House of Representatives in 1939. Despite an independent campaign as a dissident, Gaitán was not elected" (page 94).

October: municipal election

Eastman 1982: "Votación para concejos municipales 1o de octubre de 1939" (pages 345-366). Gives number of votes for each party and total votes cast in each municipality. "Votación para concejos municipales según secciones del país 1o de octubre de 1939" (page 368). Gives votes cast for each party and total votes cast in each department.