Elections and Events 1955-1969


Ayala Diago 1996: "El 9 de enero de 1955, el Ministro de Gobierno Lucio Pabón Núñez, le confirmó al país lo que hasta entonces era un rumor: la creación desde arriba de un ‘tercer partido.’…Pabón reveló la configuración de un ‘Movimiento de Acción Nacional,’ el cuál tendría ‘como norma y como meta respaldar la obra de gobierno en nombre de todos los partidos y clases’" (page 22).

Martz 1975: "With disorder both in the cities and the countryside, Rojas Pinilla surprised few by announcing that the ‘constituyente’ would not be convened in July and was postponed until 1956" (page 198).


Galbraith 1966: "In 1956 the dictatorship of Rojas appeared to be secure...The legislature was suspended, and he ruled by decree" (page 157).


Galbraith 1966: "The break came in February 1956. After a noisy but orderly demonstration at a Sunday bullfight, when the crowd applauded Lleras Camargo and jeered at the President’s daughter who was also present, the bullring was packed on the following Sunday with several thousands of armed police and security men, while ordinary citizens were searched for weapons as they entered. Cheers for the President were started, and those who held back or showed disapproval were furiously attacked. It is estimated that nine people died and 120 were injured. The Church roundly condemned the government for what had happened, and after this event the dictator lost its support" (page 158).


Bermúdez 1995: Gives the full text of the Declaration of Benidorm (pages 183-186).

Dix 1967: "(T)he Declaration of Benidorm [is] signed by Lleras and Gómez on July 24, 1956" (page 132).

Hartlyn 1984: "A little-noted foreshadowing of the central problem that was to plague the pact-making process until the very end was the fact that the Declaration made no mention of the parties supporting a Conservative for the first presidential term" (page 253).

Kline 1995: "The first meeting [to discuss a coalition government] was in Benidorm, Spain, in 1956, while Rojas was still in power. The two leaders [Laureano Gómez and Alberto Lleras] there agreed on five points" (page 47). Gives the five points. "Although the Benidorm rhetoric suggested that the two parties were united behind this agreement, the Moderate Conservatives, headed by Mariano Ospina Pérez, were still cooperating with the Rojas government."

Mauceri 1989: In July 1956 the "Declaration of Benidorm is issued by Liberal leader Alberto Lleras Camargo and Conservative Laureano Gómez, acknowledging joint responsibility for the breakdown of democracy" (page 209).

Premo 1988: "The 1956 Pact of Benidorm between Gómez and Liberal leader Alberto Lleras Camargo confirmed the union of both parties to oppose Rojas and contained a dramatic appeal to all party members to abandon partisan sentiments" (page 228).


Bermúdez 1995: "El gobierno se percató de la grave amenaza que para la continuación del general Rojas en el poder representaba la posibilidad de un candidato presidencial conservador para el período 1958-1962 apoyado por el liberalismo, y procedió a convocar la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente para que diese poderes al Ejecutivo con el objeto de designar, por decreto, 25 nuevos delegatarios en la ANAC, y gozar asíde una absoluta y dúctil mayoría gobiernista en ese cuerpo, lo que en efecto se cumplió el 4 de octubre de 1956…El proyecto gubernamental pasó, pero los escrutinios registraron 50 votos afirmativos y 43 negativos, lo que representaba una situación política nueva" (page 188).

Galbraith 1966: "The National Constituent Assembly met in October 1956 for the first time in two years. In the face of bitter opposition, the supporters of Rojas forced through a majority in favour of his plan to increase its membership to 127, the 25 new members to be appointed by the executive" (page 159).

Hartlyn 1984: "In November, Ospina resigned as president of the ANAC in protest over Rojas’s attempts to increase the Assembly’s membership in preparation for his reelection to office" (page 253).

Martz 1975: "The promised gathering of the Asamblea Nacional Constituyente was eagerly awaited, and on Thursday morning, October 11, it met for the first time in two years…Among [Rojas’] proposals was an increase in the size of membership by twenty-five, with new representatives appointed by the executive. He also hoped to draw the cloak of legality more tightly about his policies by obtaining direct ANAC approval of all laws and acts decreed by executive order" (page 220). "Rojas Pinilla’s…forces won by a 50-43 margin on November 3, 1956. The addition of 25 new members was authorized, increasing the body to 127. Eight separate votes were required before the bill and all its particulars was adopted" (page 230).



Bermúdez 1995: "(E)l 26 de enero de 1957 el ministro de Guerra, general Gabriel París…notificó al país que las fuerzas armadas habían tomado la ‘inmodificable determinación’ de que el general Gustavo Rojas Pinilla ‘continuara al frente del gobierno en el período que se inicia el 7 de agosto de 1958 y debe terminar en 1962,’ en lo que decía coincidían ‘los militares con las mayorías populares de ambos partidos’" (page 189).

Dix 1967: "Early in 1957 the armed forces announced their support for Rojas’ reelection for the 1958-62 presidential term" (page 133).

Hartlyn 1984: "After the Minister of War, Gabriel París, declared in January 1957 that the Armed Forces had decided ‘irrevocably’ that Rojas would remain as president until 1962, Ospina indicated his full support for the bipartisan alternative with a Conservative presidential candidate. Guillermo León Valencia became that candidate, symbol of the parties’ opposition to Rojas" (page 253).

Martz 1997: "By 1957 opposition to General Rojas had expanded to include the Church, labor, and business…Rojas himself planned another Constituent Assembly to extend his rule for another term" (page 64).

March: constituent assembly

Bermúdez 1995: "En lo peor de la crisis del gobierno de Rojas, el 19 de marzo de 1957 se reunió nuevamente la ANAC, ya remozada con los 25 nuevos delegatarios, y mediante el Acto Legislativo No. 1 de 1957 decretó su propia disolución y convocó una nueva Asamblea Nacional Constituyente…Ese decreto dispuso que la nueva ANAC estuviera ‘integrada por noventa diputados principales con dos suplentes principales cada uno,’ de los cuales 30 serían designados por el Ejecutivo y serían ‘de libre nombramiento y remoción del Presidente de la República,’ y los 60 restantes, con representación de los dos partidos tradicionales, por un Consejo Nacional de Delegatarios Electorales de 54 miembros elegidos por sendas asambleas de representantes de los municipios" (page 194). Gives the text of the March Pact (pages 197-199).

Galbraith 1966: "The [National Constituent Assembly] met again in March 1957, and accepted the President’s instruction to dissolve itself, leaving him free to decree its replacement without popular election by a new body of 90 delegates of whom he would nominate one-third" (page 159).

Martz 1975: "The ‘constituyente’ soon concluded its meetings and dissolved itself. On March 28, Gustavo Rojas Pinilla decreed the creation of a new Asamblea Nacional Constituyente composed of ninety delegates. Thirty would be chosen personally by the president, the other sixty named by a Consejo Nacional de Delegatorios Electorales, a fifty-one-member body to be chosen by new municipal delegates in each of the departments. No popular elections would be held" (page 234).

Serpa Erazo 1999: "La segunda reelección" (pages 274-278).

March: March Pact

Dix 1967: "The response of the parties [to the armed forces support for Rojas’ reelection] was a manifesto subscribed to by their respective directorates in Bogotá on March 20. It explicitly opposed Rojas’ reelection and called for free elections to choose his successor" (page 133).

Hartlyn 1984: The March Pact "called for civilian two-party rule with guarantees of parity and alternation in power. It called for free elections for the presidency, in which the two parties would present jointly a single candidate of the Conservative Party. Furthermore, it reaffirmed the privileged position of the Catholic Church in Colombia" (page 254).

Kline 1995: "In 1957 the ‘ospinistas,’ for the first time excluded from the military government, signed another agreement with the Liberals. Called the March Pact, it differed in language but not in substance from the Pact of Benidorm. However, in the end the followers of Laureano Gómez refused to sign it" (page 47).

Mauceri 1989: In March 1957 the "Civic Front Manifesto is issued by the two parties opposing a Rojas candidacy and vowing to present a single candidate" (page 209).


Ayala Diago 1996: "Rojas, para afianzar el Nuevo Orden y procurarle facilidades a una supuesta realización de sus proyectos, convocó a una nueva Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (El 10 de abril de 1957…entró en disolución la vieja ANAC)" (page 59). Describes the charge to the new constituent assembly (pages 59-60). Gives names of members of the assembly (pages 60-61). "Con una composición homogeneamente rojista, la ANAC instalada el 30 de abril enrumbó su actividad a la reelección del Presidente Rojas para el período 1958-1962. Los dos pasos—la configuración de una Constituyente parcializada y la propuesta de la reelección presidencial ante la ANAC—precipitaron la polarización entre gobierno y oposición. Así fue como se inició en el país una álgida y vertiginosa campaña electoral" (page 61).

Bermúdez 1995: "La nueva Constituyente se instaló el 24 de abril" (page 195). Guillermo León Valencia announces his presidential candidacy on April 8, 1957 (page 199).

Holt 1964: "In April, a Liberal-Conservative coalition announced the opposition candidacy of Guillermo León Valencia. At the end of the month, Rojas ordered the arrest of Valencia" (page 42).

Martz 1975: "On April 8, 1957, the Civic Front announced a protest gesture nominating Guillermo León Valencia for the presidency" (page 234). "There was increasing government anxiety when the church opposed [government plans] in April" (page 235).

Payne 1968: "By 1957 when Rojas attempted to succeed himself through election by a pocket constitutional convention, the acclaimed leader of the 1953 coup had become a national villain. All the prominent leaders...had turned against him" (page 151).

May 8

Arizmendi Posada 1989: "La Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, integrada por civiles y militares que lo favorecían, lo reeligió como primer mandatario para un nuevo cuatrienio, a partir de 1958" (page 264).

Ayala Diago 1996: "En [un] ambiente en extremo polarizado, con sólo un voto en contra, la ANAC reeligió al Presidente Rojas el 8 de mayo. Con oficinas en el Capitolio Nacional, el 9 de mayo comenzó a operar, en defensa del gobierno, un improvisado Comando Nacional de Acción Popular (CNAP). El organismo no estuvo integrado por los conocidos dirigentes liberales y conservadores que respaldaban a Rojas, sino de gente políticamente nueva" (page 68).

Bermúdez 1995: "(E)l 8 de mayo procedió [la Constituyente] a reelegir a Rojas Pinilla por un cuatrienio más, disposición que nunca tuvo cumplimiento porque dos días después sucedió la caída del régimen de Rojas y la extinción de la Asamblea por determinación de la Junta Militar de Gobierno" (page 195). "El escrutinio final indicó que de los 90 delegatarios, 76 habían aprobado la reelección, 13 se habían abstenido y un delegatario…[votó] por el doctor Navarro Ospina" (page 215).

Galbraith 1966: The National Constituent Assembly "met almost immediately and confirmed Rojas as President until 1962, when all male citizens would be called upon to elect a successor" (page 159).

Hartlyn 1984: Describes the events in May 1957 and gives the background of the members of the military junta (pages 254-256).

Martz 1975: "The new ‘constituyente’ met in Bogotá despite mounting criticism. The ninety-member body was installed specifically to ratify Rojas Pinilla’s re-election until 1962. For the sake of ‘administrative convenience,’ the sixty non-appointed members were simply picked by a three-man executive committee…Sessions were delayed in the ‘constituyente’ as a special commission outlined necessary amendments to the 1886 Constitution. Later they were passed with only one dissenting vote, and the way was cleared for the re-election of General Rojas Pinilla" (page 236).

May 10

Arizmendi Posada 1989: "El 10 de mayo, luego de emotivas y firmes jornadas cívicas habidas en los días inmediatamente anteriores, sube al mando de la nación una junta compuesta de cinco altos oficiales de las fuerzas armadas...La junta militar estaba compuesta así: general Gabriel París..., general Rafael Navas..., y el general Luis E. Ordóñez..., pertenecientes al ejército; el general Deogracias Fonseca...de la Policía Nacional; y el contralmirante Rubén Piedrahíta, de la Armada" (page 267). "El general París fue designado presidente de la junta, pero a los restantes miembros también se les daba el tratamiento de presidentes de la República" (page 268).

Dix 1987: "In the face of student demonstrations, a nationwide ‘civic strike’ that included many banks and businesses, and opposition from the Church and most factions of both major parties, the army forced Rojas out of office and into exile on May 10, 1957. There followed a little more than a year of rule by a five-man military junta" (page 37).

Galbraith 1966: "Rojas left for Spain, and the junta under General Gabriel Paris appointed a bipartisan Cabinet of 13, three of them being from the army, one from the navy, and one from the police, and the free election of a civilian President in August 1958 was guaranteed" (page 159).

Sanders 1982: "The Armed Forces, which had been important beneficiaries of [Rojas’] government, realized that their status was being compromised and chose to remove him, assume a caretaker role, and turn to the civilian political leaders for a solution" (page 3).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "In May 1957, faced with a multitude of protesters and top military leaders requesting his resignation, Rojas Pinilla resigned and went into temporary exile in Spain. Power reverted to a five-man junta led by General Gabriel París, who promised the free election of a civilian president in August 1958" (page 41).


Martz 1975: "(L)eaders of the two [Conservative] wings signed a pact on June 3. The moderate and rightist elements agreed to hold a joint convention at the end of the month, at which they would endorse Guillermo León Valencia as their presidential candidate" (page 258).

July: Declaration of Sitges

Bermúdez 1995: Gives the full text of the Declaration of Sitges (pages 274-282).

Galbraith 1966: The "’Declaration of Sitges’ [provided] that, subject to a plebiscite, both parties would share the government at the national and local level for twelve years, and that the presidency would alternate between them" (page 160).

Kline 1995: "The third pact in the series…was the 1957 one agreed to in Sitges, once again by Gómez and Lleras. The original goal of ridding Colombia of the military dictatorship had disappeared with the fall of Rojas earlier in the year. The Sitges Pact…stipulated that the first president under the coalition government would be a Conservative" (page 47-48).

Martz 1975: "With the Conservative breach closed, the next step came in July with the formation of a joint commission for the study of constitutional reform. An eight-man body drew up a twenty-two-page document explaining an arrangement whereby the parties would share government equally for the next twelve years. The puppet ‘constituyente’ would be dissolved, and congressional elections were set for November 24, 1957, with presidential balloting on May 4, 1958. The ‘junta,’ pleased with the agreement, immediately declared the dissolution of the ‘constituyente’ while decreeing the election dates…On July 20, 1957, Lleras Camargo and Gómez drew up the Declaration of Sitges…The Sitges agreement was aimed at drawing closer the two parties and establishing a lasting foundation for party coexistence" (page 258).


Hartlyn 1984: "Laureano Gómez returned to Colombia in October 1957 from his exile in Spain, as powerful as ever within the party, to excoriate Valencia who just had been acclaimed as candidate in an Ospinista Convention. Soon after, at the Laureanista Convention, Valencia’s candidacy was vigourously rejected" (page 261).

Martz 1975: "On Saturday, October 5, 1957, Laureano Gómez returned to Colombia once again…Coincident to his return was the convention of the moderate Conservatives, who restated their support of Valencia. A week later the ‘laureanistas’ planned their own convention in Barranquilla, and Conservative disunity was underlined by a manifesto specifically objecting to the Valencia candidacy" (page 260).


Hartlyn 1984: "In November Gómez wrote the junta requesting the plebiscite be postponed and threatening to pull out of the National Front agreement if congressional elections were not held first so that the Conservative faction with the majority could impose its presidential candidate" (page 261).

Martz 1975: "Revitalized by the return of their champion, the Gómez forces in early November took the offensive with a sweeping attack that included the Liberals as targets of their wrath. On the night of November 16 Gómez’ directorate broadcast a declaration implying Liberal responsibility for the continuation of the ten-year-old rural violence and banditry. The Liberals, it was argued, had also been trying to take advantage of the Declaration of Sitges for narrow partisan purposes…The ‘laureanistas’ asked [for] congressional elections before any plebiscite, and added that elected Conservatives would then present a list of names from which the Liberals might agree upon a presidential candidate" (page 261). "With negotiations in danger of complete collapse, the military called in party leaders to plead for a reconciliation of views instead of plebiscite postponement. A series of meetings were held in the palace…The government insisted on agreement of some sort, and after nearly sixty hours’ discussion, a compromise was effected" (page 263).

November: San Carlos pact

Kline 1995: "Internal conflicts within the Conservative party led to a fourth and last pact, that of San Carlos, signed by the leadership of all party factions. The main stipulation added by San Carlos was that the Conservative candidate be chosen by the Congress, which would be elected before the president" (page 48).

Martz 1975: "To accommodate Dr. Gómez, it was agreed to postpone any decision on presidential candidacy until 1958, following the election of a Congress…The ‘junta’ would convoke congressional elections in March, and the decision on Valencia would be ‘submitted to ratification by the Conservative and Liberal members of the next Congress’" (page 263).

Mauceri 1989: "The first in a series of factional disputes arose when Gómez objected to the choice of Guillermo León Valencia as a candidate because the latter belonged to the faction led by Mariano Ospina Pérez, which had given early support to General Rojas. The dispute was resolved through the Pact of San Carlos, which let the Congress settle the selection process" (page 211).

Sturges-Vera 1990: The San Carlos Agreement "stipulated that a Conservative…would be the first president under a National Front and that he would be elected by a National Congress previously elected by popular vote…[It] also called for the following: restoration of the Constitution of 1886,…the alternation of the presidency between the two parties every four years; parity between parties in all legislative bodies;…[and] women’s suffrage and equal political rights for women" (page 41).


Bermúdez 1995: Gives full text of plebiscite (pages 283-286).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections 2 1968: "(U)nder the terms of an amendment to the 1886 Constitution approved by referendum on December 1, 1957, the seats in both Houses, like all elective offices in the country, are shared on a half-and-half basis between the two traditional parties: Conservatives and Liberals" (page 31). Gives additional details from the amendment on how congressional elections will be resolved (pages 31-32).

Eastman 1982: "Resultado del plebicito del 1o. de diciembre de 1957" (page 689). Gives number of votes cast in each department for each option.

Galbraith 1966: The plebiscite included, among other reforms, "the recognition of Catholicism as the national religion; and the legalizing of the Junta until popular elections could be held for the Presidency, Congress, departmental assemblies, and municipal councils" (page 160).

Hartlyn 1988: The "plebiscite was overwhelmingly approved by 4,169,294 voters; only 206,864 negative votes and 20,738 blank ballots were cast" (page 64). "Approximately 70% of the country’s population over 21 cast a vote. Women voted for the first time" (page 266).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Plebiscito, 1o de diciembre de 1957" (page 161). Gives by department the affirmative votes, negative votes, blank votes, and total votes.

Hudson 1990: "The 1957 amendments essentially changed the nature of the government from a competitive system characterized by intense party loyalties and political violence to a coalition government in which the two major parties shared power…The 1957 amendments also give women the same political rights as men, including the right to vote" (page 198). In 1957 "a constitutional provision banned referenda as a means of reforming the Constitution on major social, political, and economic issues" (page 199).

Lavrin 2000: "In 1957 women began exercising their political rights by voting in a plebiscite to decide a political peace formula for the nation" (page 193).

Martz 1975: "Colombian women were voting, one of the few measures instituted by the Rojas Pinilla regime which was retained. Feminine reaction was not uniform, and many hesitated to exercise suffrage either through force of habit and tradition or because of the idea that the men’s vote would somehow count for more. However, a number of feminist leaders campaigned widely urging women to vote, and the importance which the church gave the voting was an additional impetus" (page 263). "Of the 4,397,090 total vote, 4,169,294 approved the reform. Only 206,864 were negative, while 20,738 cast blank ballots and 194 were annulled for irregularities" (page 264).

Reyes Cárdenas 1995: "En el plebiscito realizado el 1 de diciembre de 1957, votaron 1,835,255 mujeres, que era el 42% del total de la población que sufragó" (page 257).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "In December 1957, Colombians voted overwhelmingly in a national plebiscite to approve the Sitges and San Carlos agreements as amendments to the Constitution of 1886" (pages 41-42).


March: municipal, departmental, and congressional elections

Arizmendi Posada 1989: "El llamado ‘laureanismo’ ganó en el [sector conservador]... Propuso que fuera liberal el primer presidente después que la junta dejara el mando. Con ello, al parecer, se quería, entre otras cosas, que no ascendiera Guillermo León Valencia, candidato del grupo ospinista, y quien estaba nominado para la candidatura. El liberalismo aceptó la propuesta y designó al ex mandatario Alberto Lleras para presentarse como candidato de la coalición liberal-conservadora" (page 269).

Ayala Diago 1996: "Listas para representantes - marzo 16 de 1958" (page 295). "Elecciones para la cámara – marzo 16" (page 298-299). Gives other statistics on election (pages 300-308).

Bermúdez 1995: "Realizadas las votaciones, el liberalismo obtuvo 2.132.741 sufragios, el laureanismo 925.856, el ospinismo 446.894, el alzatismo 150.155, y otros grupos conservadores 33.368 sufragios. De conformidad con esos guarismos, la composición del Senado fue de 40 liberales, 26 laureanistas, 10 ospinistas y 4 alzatistas, proporción que se mantuvo en la Cámara de Representantes. Como resultado del triunfo laureanista en esas elecciones, la candidatura presidencial del doctor Guillermo León Valencia se hundió definitivamente" (page 292).

Dix 1967: "In the…election held in March 1958 the Liberals outdistanced the total Conservative vote, 58 per cent to 42 per cent, although of course, under the parity system, the seats in Congress were to be equally divided between the two parties. The crucial contest took place within each party, where proportional representation prevailed" (page 135).

Eastman 1982: "Votación para asambleas departamentales 16 de marzo de 1958" (page 618). Gives number of votes for liberals and conservatives, blank votes, null votes, and total votes in each department. "Votación para cámara 16 de marzo de 1958" (page 647). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes. "Votación para senado marzo 16 de 1958" (page 673). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes.

Galbraith 1966: "The elections to elect congressmen and departmental and municipal officers took place in March 1958. The Liberals were united behind Lleras Camargo and polled 2,105,171 votes, while the Conservative total vote of 1,545,435 split between Laureanistas (915,886), Ospinistas (340,106), and Alzatistas (287,760) which meant that there was no clear Conservative candidate for the presidency" (page 160).

Hartlyn 1988: "Gómez’ list won 59% of the Conservative vote…The vote again demonstrated a Liberal majority in the country, as Conservative lists received 42% of the total vote" (page 64).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Resultado de la votación para senado: elecciones del 16 de marzo de 1958" (page 206). Gives by department the vote for conservatives and liberals, null votes, blank votes, and total votes. "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 16 de marzo de 1958" (page 238). Gives by department the vote for conservatives and liberals, null votes, blank votes, total votes, and potential voters.

ICSPS 1966: "In the congressional elections of 1958 the Conservative candidates for the House of Representatives polled 1,556,273 valid votes, and the Liberals polled 2,132,741, out of a total of 3,693,939 votes cast. In the senatorial election, the Conservative candidates received 1,545,262 and the Liberals received 2,105,171 valid votes out of a total of 3,655,474 votes cast" (page 31).

Kline 1995: "The Gómez Conservatives emerged from that election as the largest Conservative faction in Congress, effectively vetoing the candidacy of Guillermo León Valencia (until then the strongest Conservative presidential candidate). After negotiation, the top faction leaders agreed that the first president would be a Liberal and that the coalition would be extended from twelve to sixteen years" (page 48).

Martz 1975: "Elections were called for Sunday, March 16, 1958, with 80 senators and 148 representatives to be chosen. A complicated quotient system of proportional representation had been worked out in accord with the proposals approved in December, and some 4,000,000 Colombians were eligible to vote" (page 266). Gives the results (page 267).

Martz 1997: "The [Liberal] party’s congressional vote of 2,132,741 had all been cast for the official slates; thus, all 74 deputies and 40 senators were regarded as loyal to the constitutional arrangement" (page 86). Gives the number of votes won by Conservative candidates and seats won by each faction (page 87).

Mauceri 1989: "In congressional elections, Liberals outpace Conservatives 58 to 42 percent, though seats are divided equally" (page 209).

Reyes Cárdenas 1995: "En las siguientes elecciones para elegir presidente y Cuerpos Colegiados, en marzo de 1958, las mujeres eran el 41 y el 40%, respectivamente, del caudal de votantes" (page 257).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "Congressional elections were held soon thereafter, with the result that the reactionary Conservatives emerged as the largest faction of the Conservative half of Congress…As a result of this division within the PC, faction leaders agreed to allow a Liberal to be the first president under the National Front and to extend the provision of the coalition government from twelve to sixteen years" (pages 41-42).

Constitutional amendment

Dugas 2000: Gives the agreements on which the National Front is based (page 87). "In effect the National Front agreement institutionalized bipartisan rule in Colombia... Although this restricted democracy generally respected civil liberties, it limited political participation to the PC and the PL; third parties were formally excluded from direct participation in politics. The National Front regime allowed for direct elections, but because parity was predetermined, elections had no bearing on the partisan composition of elected bodies...The institutions of the National Front represented a political boon for the PC. Since the early 1930s, the Conservatives had consistently proven to be weaker electorally than the PL" (pages 87-88). "The National Front...encouraged PC and PL fragmentation at the local and regional levels...With parity guaranteed, elections only determined which politicians were to occupy a party’s allotted seats in a given body. As a result, they promoted ‘intra’party rather than ‘inter’party competitition" (page 89).

Kline 1995: The "final agreement and the other stipulations of the plebiscite were ratified by the Congress as a constitutional amendment in 1958" (page 48). Gives eight characteristics of the National Front. "Women were to have equal political rights. (General Rojas’s government had declared female suffrage in 1954, but of course there had been no elections in which to vote)" (page 48).

Mauceri 1989: "The constitution is amended to include the National Front agreements, now extended to sixteen years" (page 209).

Sanders 1982: "(T)he National Front represented a return to practices rooted in Colombian political culture before 1934. Colombian party leaders turned instinctively to power-sharing as the most viable alternative to the pattern of exclusion of the opposition, frustration, and violence" (page 4). Under the National Front "the presidency was restricted to one party only, and though several candidates competed, they had to do so under the party label that was permitted for that year" (page 5).

May 2: attempted coup

Bermúdez 1995: "Ya cerrado el debate electoral y cuando el país se disponía a celebrar las elecciones presidenciales, se presentó el golpe militar encabezado por el coronel Hernando Forero Gómez, comandante de la policía militar" (page 300). "(E)n 1992 Fernando Gómez Agudelo, persona de entera confianza del general Rojas Pinilla, dijo saber por buena fuente que el golpe fue organizado directamente por Rojas…con la intención de reasumir el poder" (page 301).

Martz 1975: Describes the events of May 2, 1958 (pages 270-271).

May 4: presidential election (Lleras Camargo / PL)

Ayala Diago 1996: "Departamentos de mayor votación por Jorge Leyva. Mayo de 1958" (page 295). "Elección presidencial" (pages 298-299). Gives other statistics on election (pages 300-308).

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

Eastman 1982: "Votación para presidente de la república período 1958-1962" (page 690). Gives votes for major candidates in all departments.

Fogelquist 1981: "In the elections of 1958, the PCC had given critical support to the candidacy of Lleras Camargo" (page 55).

Galbraith 1966: "On 4 May Lleras was elected with 2,482,948 votes in the face of an almost token and last-minute opposition by Jorge Leyva, who polled 614,861 votes" (page 160).

Hartlyn 1988: "(G)iven the fact [Lleras’] candidacy was defined only days before the May 4 election, his margin of victory highlights both the dominance of the National Front actors and the weakness of their opposition" (page 65).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Elecciones presidenciales del 4 de mayo de 1958" (page 162). Gives by department the votes for two candidates, others, null votes, blank votes, and total votes.

Holt 1964: "Valencia had been first in the field as an anti-Rojas candidate and felt he deserved the honor of the Presidency. Lleras Camargo, himself a moderate Liberal, thought it would be preferable to have a Conservative as the successor to Rojas. But the Conservatives were badly split and were unable to united behind Valencia. In the ensuing deadlock, Gómez proposed Lleras as a candidate of national unity and Lleras reluctantly accepted the nomination. After the failure of an attempted countercoup by supporters of Rojas, Lleras was elected in May, 1958, by a vote of 2.5 million to 615,000 for Jorge Leyva" (page 43).

ICSPS 1966: "Vote for Alberto Lleras Camargo by department, 1958 presidential election" (page 30). For each department gives total votes cast, votes Lleras received, and percent Lleras received.

Martz 1975: Gives results of the election (page 271).

Mauceri 1989: "In presidential elections, Liberal Alberto Lleras Camargo is elected with 85 percent of the vote" (page 209).

Serpa Erazo 1999: "La elección de Lleras Camargo" (page 324).

Statistical abstract of Latin America volume 12 1968: In the presidential election of May 5, 1958, Lleras is elected and Jorge Leyva, PC, running illegally, receives a small percentage of the vote (page 146).


Holt 1964: "In September, 1958, a month after Lleras Camargo’s inauguration as President, the Chamber of Deputies formally charged Rojas with ‘abuse of power’ and obstruction of ‘due process of law’" (page 44).


Schoultz 1972: Rojas "voluntarily returned to Colombia in October 1958" (page 35).


Chernick 1993: "From its outset, the National Front faced various middle-class revolutionary movements. In the first place, the Movimiento Revolucionario Liberal…won over intellectual dissidents, Communists, and veterans of the midcentury Liberal guerrillas who were attracted to armed struggle against the elites, especially following the victory of the 26th of July Movement in Cuba" (page 64).

Galbraith 1966: "When the staunchly Conservative Cardinal Luque died in 1959, he was succeeded as Archbishop of Bogotá by the younger, less traditionalist, and more socially conscious, Luis Concha Córdoba...Son of the President who held office from 1914 until 1918,...he undertook a serious study of Catholic-Protestant relations" (page 49).

Gilhodes 1973: The Liberal Revolutionary Movement "was born of a breakaway by the Liberal left wing in 1958-9. Being a liberal party led by the son of ex-President López, the MRL had no difficulty in gaining permission to present candidates at elections. The MRL rejected the policies of the National Front, and in particular the statutory alternation of Presidents, the principle of parity and the restriction of other parties’ political rights" (page 307).

Holt 1964: "After long and turbulent proceedings, the Senate voted to deprive Rojas of all political rights, including those of voting and holding office" (page 44).

Mauceri 1989: "(F)actionalization of the party system was an important feature of [the] period of consolidation, beginning during the Lleras administration (from 1958-1962). The prohibition against third-party candidates ensured that factional groups remained within the two parties rather than forming their own parties and losing access to political power. Conservatives divided into three factions (led by Alzatistas, Ospinistas, and Laureanistas), while the Liberals split into two, an official wing and a wing led by López Michelson (the MRL). With the exception of the MRL, all the factions supported the National Front arrangements" (page 211).

Schoultz 1972: Rojas "was forced to stand trial before the Colombian Senate in 1959 on charges of misuse of power and public funds. Finding him guilty, the Senate revoked Rojas’s political rights" (page 35).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "In 1959 Liberal dissidents formed the…Movimiento de Recuperación Liberal—subsequently renamed the…Movimiento Revolucionario Liberal—under the leadership of Alfonso López Michelsen, son of ex-President López Pumarejo" (page 44).


March: congressional and local elections

Dix 1967: "In view of the divisions within both parties, the congressional elections of March 1960 loomed as a clear-cut test for the coalition agreement. The results showed striking gains for the ‘opposition’ factions" (page 138). Gives the number of seats won by each faction in each party.

Eastman 1982: "Votación para asambleas departamentales 20 de marzo de 1960" (pages 618-619). Gives number of votes for divisions within the Liberal Party (oficialistas, MRL, independientes) and Conservative Party (unionistas, doctrinario, independiente) and other parties and total votes in each department. "Votación para cámara 20 de marzo de 1960" (page 648). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes.

Fogelquist 1981: "In the parliamentary elections of 1960 [the PCC] had allied itself with the newly founded Movimiento Revolucionario Liberal, MRL, led by Alfonso López Michelsen, who at the time was opposed to the parity system and the alternation of Liberal and Conservative presidents. The MRL-PCC alliance gained 354,560 votes out of a total of 2,542,651 votes in these elections" (page 55).

Galbraith 1966: "The campaign for the congressional elections of 1960 saw a resurgence of dissension within the parties and certain realignments among the five Conservative groups...The election results were something of a surprise. The loose coalition of Ospina and Alzate polled 53 per cent of the Conservative vote, Gómez 42 per cent, the remainder of the votes going to Leyva. The Alfonsistas exceeded expectations by obtaining 20 per cent of the Liberal vote" (page 162).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 20 de marzo de 1960" (page 239). Gives by department the vote for Conservatives and Liberals, null votes, blank votes, total votes, and potential voters.

ICSPS 1966: "Seats in the House of Representatives were the only positions of national importance at stake in 1960. The 2,542,651 votes cast were less than those cast in the 1958 elections for the House of Representatives (3,693,939)…Liberal candidates received a total of 1,478,403 valid votes, and the Conservatives received 1,059,370" (page 31). Gives additional details on the election.

Martz 1975: Gives results of the election (pages 306-307).

Martz 1997: "At stake were 152 seats in the Chamber and over 5000 seats in the collective councils and assemblies of 890 municipalities and sixteen departments…On 20 March 1960…a total of 2,542,651 votes were cast, which represented 57.8 percent participation as compared with 68.9 percent in March of 1958. The Liberals outpolled the Conservatives by 1,478,403 (58.1 percent) to 1.059,370 (41.7 percent), which represented a minuscule advance during the two-year interval" (page 89). Gives seats won by each faction (page 90).

Mauceri 1989: "(A)fter the 1960 congressional elections gave a majority to the newly formed alliance between the Alzate and Ospina forces, Lleras forged a coalition with these latter Conservatives" (pages 211-212).

Sánchez 2001: "The March 1960 elections introduced important changes in the political makeup of Congress. The defeat of the ‘laureanista,’ or doctrinarian, Conservatives who had been among the architects of the National Front forced the National Front’s Liberals to look for new partners to preserve the coalition’s legitimacy. Another important change was the vigorous irruption—claiming seventeen seats—of a dissident, anti-National Front faction within the Liberal Party: the MRL, led by Alfonso López Michelsen, on whose ticket former ‘guerrilleros’ as prestigious as Juan de la Cruz Varela and Rafael Rangel Gómez would hold seats in the lower house…(T)he local or regional influence that might be exercised by armed groups, whether called ‘guerrilleros’ or ‘bandoleros,’ in controlling votes and political loyalties, now appeared decisive" (page 152). "(T)he 1960 Congress was in no way homogeneous; rather, it was extremely splintered, as were the parties both nationally and regionally. Within these multiple forces, the MRL…appears to have been the most cohesive of the forces opposed to the National Front…[It was a] democratic tradition within the Liberal Party that tolerated an alliance with other expressions of the opposition, including the Communist Party" (page 160). "In 1960, the MRL obtained 341,521 votes and seventeen seats in Congress" (page 161).

Serpa Erazo 1999: "La alternación y las elecciones del 60" (pages 368-373). "El escrutinio arrojó los siguientes resultados: liberalismo oficialista 1.106.678 votos; MRL 354.560 votos; ospino-alzatismo 567.261 votos; laureanismo 438.537 votos y leyvismo 45.781 votos" (page 371).


Serpa Erazo 1999: Gilberto Alzate Avendaño dies unexpectedly on November 26, 1960 "cuando tenía abiertas las probabilidades de la presidencia" (page 375). "La muerte de Alzate dejó huérfano al ospino-alzatismo lo cual hizo que algunos de los simpatizantes de esta corriente conservadora voltearan la vista hacia el naciente movimiento de Rojas" (page 376).


Arizmendi Posada 1989: Rojas Pinilla "decide fundar lo que concibió como un nuevo partido, la Alianza Nacional Popular, Anapo, integrada por los desheredados de los dos partidos tradicionales y heterogéneos grupos de las condiciones menos favorecidas" (page 265).

Dugas 2000: "Because most Colombian peasants lacked access to arable land, land redistribution was a prominent issue throughout the National Front period. Law 135, enacted in 1961, ostensibly promoted a broad program of agrarian reform (including land redistribution), but in practice it had very limited effects" (page 91).

Sturges-Vera 1990: The "Alianza Nacional Popular...was founded in 1961 by Rojas Pinilla after his return from exile" (page 44).


Kline 1999: "The first [guerrilla organization] to emerge, toward the end of ‘La Violencia’ in 1962, was the pro-Castro ELN. The ELN story began with the arrival in Cuba of a group of Colombian scholarship students at the height of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962" (page 18).

Sánchez 2001: "’(B)andolerismo’ found a tacit ally in the MRL, which was willing to milk that support for any and all electoral gains, and its alliance led to the highly controversial issuance of MRL identification cards in numerous rural areas. However, a sizable majority of the National Front’s ‘gamonales’ began to distance themselves from their former ‘bandolero’ allies, relying instead on the electoral advantages afforded by the institutional, economic, and military power of the ruling-coalition factions. By 1962, most of the ‘bandolero’-controlled areas supported the MRL, with minimal Conservative exceptions…or Liberal ones" (page 161).


Galbraith 1966: "(I)t was not until January 1962 that the state of siege was raised in the Republic as a whole" (page 161).

March: congressional and local elections

Ayala Diago 1996: "En las elecciones para Corporaciones Públicas del 18 de marzo de 1962, la ANAPO participa por primera vez en un debate electoral. La Alianza inscribe listas en 11 de los 17 Departamentos de entonces. Lo hace como ala conservadora no obstante haberse promovido como movimiento bipartita. De una votación general de 3.090.203, corresponden al conservatismo 1.402.786 votos y al liberalismo 1.685.531. La votación conservadora se distribuye en: 56.6% para el unionismo, 34.8% para los doctrinarios y 8.2% para la ANAPO" (page 195). "El 84.4% del respaldo a la ANAPO provino de los Departamentos del Valle, Boyacá, Cundinamarca, Antioquia, y Santander; votación que le permitió alcanzar 8 parlamentarios: 6 para la Cámara de Representantes (dos por el Valle y de a uno por el resto de Departamentos mencionados), y dos Senadores (uno por Cundinamarca y otro por El Valle)" (page 196). "Los avances electorales de 1962, con los cuales el Movimiento Revolucionario Liberal MRL logró 12 Senadores y 33 Representantes lo convirtieron en un grupo con capacidad de negociación" (page 264).

Dix 1967: "Party voting in cities casting more than 25,000 votes, March 1962 senatorial election" (page 243). Gives by city the number of votes for the Conservative and Liberal parties.

Eastman 1982: "Votación para asambleas departamentales 18 de marzo de 1962" (page 620). Gives number of votes for divisions within Liberal and Conservative parties, other parties, total votes, and blank and null votes in each department. "Votación para cámara 18 de marzo de 1962" (pages 649-651). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes. "Votación para senado 18 de marzo de 1962" (page 674). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes.

Galbraith 1966: "The congressional elections in March 1962 resulted in the Oficialistas (that is, the traditional Liberals in support of Lleras Camargo and the National Front) polling 65 per cent and the Movimiento de Recuperación Nacional 35 per cent of the Liberal vote, which totalled 1,700,000. The Conservative vote of 1,400,000 was divided between Ospinistas with 57 per cent, Laureanistas with 35 per cent, and ‘others’—mainly Leyvistas—with 8 per cent" (page 163).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Resultado de la votación para senado: elecciones del 18 de marzo de 1962" (page 207). Gives by department the number of votes for Conservatives and Liberals, null votes, blank votes, and total votes. "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 18 de marzo de 1962" (page 240). Gives by department the vote for Conservatives and Liberals, null votes, blank votes, total votes, and potential voters.

Holt 1964: Describes in detail the "electoral machinery" in place in the congressional election of 1962 (pages 60-66).

ICSPS 1966: Gives statistics on numbers of seats and votes won by different party factions in the congressional elections (pages 31-32).

Martz 1997: "The level of participation [from 1960] was scarcely changed, with 3,090,203 votes representing 57.9 percent of the eligible voters. The Liberal margin over the Conservatives was slightly if insignificantly shaved. The majority party won 1,685,531 for 54.5 percent against the Conservatives’ 1,287,199 for 41.7 percent. ANAPO, contesting congressional elections for the first time, polled a scant 115,587, for 3.7 percent of the vote" (page 93). Gives seats won by each faction.

Sánchez 2001: In "1962, [the MRL] more than doubled its congressional representation (twelve seats in the Senate, thirty-three in the Chamber of Representatives) with 625,630 votes, or 23 percent of the total" (page 161).

Serpa Erazo 1999: "Para principios de 1962, la Anapo contaba con comandos en la mayoría de los departamentos y ciudades capitales e intermedias. Esto le permitió presentar a consideración del electorado 11 listas unificadas a efecto de participar en las elecciones de Senado, Cámara y Asambleas, del 18 de marzo de 1962…Es importante anotar que en este debate no participó el ala liberal de la Anapo. Los resultados electorales fueron los siguientes: conservadores unionistas 793.976 votos; conservadores laureanistas 488.170 votos; anapistas 115.028 votos, liberales oficialistas 1.083.797 y MRL 601.735 votos. La Anapo obtuvo el 8.2% de los sufragios conservadores y el 3.7% de la votación total" (page 380). Gives the number of votes for Anapo by department (pages 380-381).

May: presidential election (Valencia / PC)

Ayala Diago 1996: "Las elecciones presidenciales de 1962 se llevaron a cabo en un clima de represión hacia los movimientos de oposición" (page 206). Gives results (pages 206-207).

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

Dix 1967: "Results of presidential voting, May 1962" (page 144). Gives the number of votes and percent of total vote for four candidates.

Eastman 1982: "Votación para presidente de la república período 1962-1966" (page 691). Gives votes for major candidates in all departments.

Fleischer 1994: "In 1962…Liberal Alfonso López Michelsen received over 600,000 votes which were later annulled on the grounds that it was the turn of the Conservatives to occupy the presidency. Also the more than 50,000 votes received by Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, the former President by military coup, in the same election were thrown out on the ground that his political rights had been cancelled" (page 4).

Fogelquist 1981: "In the elections of 1962, López Michelsen, supported by the Partido Comunista de Colombia, PCC, received 624,863 votes (23.4% of total votes) as opposed to the Conservative National Front candidate, Guillermo León Valencia, who received 1,633,873 votes (62.7%)" (page 11). "In 1962, the PCC supported López Michelsen’s candidacy in the presidential elections, in which López gained 601,926 out of 3,090,203 votes" (page 55). "The MRL itself contained several factions or tendencies. The right wing, headed by López, was called the ‘Línea Blanda,’ while the left wing was known as the ‘Línea Dura.’ Undoubtedly the most radical section of the MRL was that of the Juventud del MRL" (page 55).

Gilhodes 1973: "The MRL obtained its biggest ever number of votes in 1962 (more than 600,000), winning 20 per cent of the votes cast. It was then supported by Liberal voters unwilling to vote for a Conservative presidential candidate" (page 310).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Elecciones presidenciales del 6 de mayo de 1962" (page 163). Gives by department the votes for two candidates, others, null votes, blank votes, and total votes.

Holt 1964: "Rojas ran illegally as a candidate in the 1962 Presidential election and came in a poor fourth, receiving 55,000 votes out of a total of more than 2.6 million" (page 44).

ICSPS 1966: "In the 1962 elections the National Registry counted the votes by party faction" (page 31). "Vote for president: May 6, 1962." Gives number of votes and percent of total vote cast for each candidate. "Vote for Guillermo León Valencia by department, 1962 presidential election" (page 32).

Martz 1997: Gives the number of registered voters, the number who voted, the abstention rate, and the number of votes and percent of total votes for each candidate (page 95).

Serpa Erazo 1999: "(D)espués de una intensa y agotadora campaña en la cual participaron todas las fuerzas políticas y que cubrió todo el territorio nacional, en las elecciones del domingo 6 de abril [mayo] el único ganador fue la abstención. Más de la mitad de los colombianos con capacidad de sufragar no concurrieron a las urnas. El escrutinio de la Registraduría Nacional arrojó los siguientes resultados: Guillermo León Valencia 1.636.081 votos, Alfonso López Michelsen 625.630 votos, Jorge Leyva 308.992 votos y Gustavo Rojas Pinilla 54.562 votos…La oposición al sistema bipartidista logró el 38%, pero los votos por Rojas Pinilla y López Michelsen fueron declarados por las autoridades electorales nulos" (page 386).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "Valencia became the next official Conservative candidate of the National Front and was elected for the 1962-66 presidential term. Only half the eligible citizens voted, but Valencia received more than 62 percent of the votes" (page 43).


Ayala Diago 1996: "En agosto de 1963 se anunció el surgimiento de un nuevo grupo político: ‘El Movimiento de Izquierda Liberal’ (MIL), integrado por dirigentes del MRL y del oficialismo liberal" (page 270).

Holt 1964: "In August, 1963,...the government broke up yet another Rojas plot, arresting seven of his cohort while the general himself went into hiding. He was soon captured and taken to a remote air-force base for safekeeping. But he was shortly released" (page 45).


Chernick 1993: "With the disbanding of the MRL in 1964, several middle-class armed insurrectionary initiatives arose in its wake" (page 64).

March: congressional election

Ayala Diago 1996: "(F)ue en extremo obstaculizada la participación de la ANAPO en el debate electoral de 1964" (pages 274-275). "De un potencial electoral de 6.135.628 personas, sólo concurrieron a las urnas el 36.9%. La abstención alcanzó la cifra del 63.1%, la más alta desde 1958" (page 277). "La votación total para la Cámara de Representantes en 1964 alcanzó la cifra de 2.261.190. Le correspondió el 35% de los votos al partido conservador, el 32.65% al liberalismo oficial, el 16.9% al MRL y el 13.7% a la ANAPO" (page 278). "La Alianza Nacional Popular se presentó a elecciones en 17 departamentos" (page 279). Gives results (pages 279-280).

Colombia. Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil 1965: "Esta publicación indica los resultados obtenidos en las Elecciones del 15 de Marzo de 1964, en las que fueron elegidos Representantes, Diputados, Concejales y Consejeros Intendenciales" ("advertencia"). See information under "Estadísticas electorales (1970) 1971" for elections of April 1970 for descriptions of tables included in this volume.

Eastman 1982: "Votación para asambleas departamentales 15 de marzo de 1964" (page 621). Gives number of votes for divisions within Liberal and Conservative Parties, other parties, total votes, and blank and null votes in each department. "Votación para cámara 15 de marzo de 1964" (pages 652-653). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes.

Galbraith 1966: "(T)he Congressional elections of 1964 provided a set-back for the National Front. Although its supporters increased their share of the total vote from 61.1 per cent in 1962 to 69.6 per cent there was a massive abstention and only 2.2 million out of an electorate of about 6 million went to the polls. Rojas Pinilla increased his seats in the house from 6 to 26 and his total vote to three times the 1962 figure" (page 164).

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 15 de marzo de 1964" (page 241). Gives by department the vote for Conservatives and Liberals, null votes, blank votes, and total votes.

Holt 1964: Rojas "took an active part in the 1964 Congressional election, in which ANAPO showed surprising strength, picking up 26 seats in the House" (page 45). "Besides shaking the leadership of the National Front, the 1964 election greatly encouraged Rojas. He openly declared that the next President of Colombia would come from his movement. The Alianza Nacional Popular (ANAPO), as the Rojas movement is called, derives most of its strength from disgruntled Conservatives, but it is theoretically bipartisan. In March, 1964, it put up candidates on both the Conservative and Liberal tickets" (page 60).

ICSPS 1966: "In the elections for the House of Representatives in 1964 the Conservative Party received 1,095,465 valid votes and the Liberal Party polled 1,157,998 out of a total of 2,261,190 votes cast" (page 32). Gives numbers of votes for factions in each party.

Martz 1997: "Abstention was high when Colombians voted on 15 March 1964. A total of 2,261,190 votes were cast, which constituted a bare 36.9 percent of eligible voters. This was the lowest figure yet in the history of the National Front. The Liberals retained their majority status, with 1,141,503 votes for 50.5 percent. The Conservatives received 802,282 votes for 35.5 percent, while the nascent ‘rojista’ forces of ANAPO startled most observers with 309,678 votes and 13.7 percent" (page 113). Gives the number of seats for each party.

Payne 1968: "Urban-rural division of the vote, 1964" (page 235). By department and department capital.

Sánchez 2001: "In 1964, [MRL’s] support fell to 381,847 votes and it was divided into ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ factions. At the same time, ANAPO tripled its strength. In coming years this contrast would reflect a characteristic gap between urban opposition movements and fundamentally rural ones" (page 161).

Serpa Erazo 1999: "Las elecciones de 1964" (pages 407-410). "La jornada electoral de 1964 curiosamente mostró que, mientras el MRL, con sus dos tendencias blanda y dura, disminuyó su caudal electoral; la Anapo (con listas liberales y conservadoras en siete departamentos) avanzó significativamente en todo el país, logrando elegir para la Cámara Baja 27 representantes de un total de 184, y a las asambleas departamentales llegaron 49 diputados rojistas" (page 409).

Sturges-Vera 1990: In "the congressional elections of 1964,…70 percent of the voters failed to cast ballots and 10 percent voted against Valencia’s candidates. Congressional victories by Anapo and MRL reduced Valencia’s support in the legislature to a narrow majority" (page 44).


Kline 1999: "The ELN was officially born on July 4, 1964, and was initially composed primarily of university students" (page 18).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "In 1964 the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional---ELN) was formed by students who were disenchanted with the pro-Soviet Communist Party of Colombia (Partido Comunista de Colombia--PCC) and inspired by the Cuban Revolution" (page 44).


ICSPS 1966: "In November 1964 the department of Guajira was created" (page 12). This increased the number of senators and representatives in the national congress.


Fogelquist 1981: The Partido Comunista de Colombia (Marxista-Leninista) is founded in July 1965 (page 89).

Oquist 1980: "Attempts at military forays into the Communist-controlled areas, known as ‘Marquetalia’ and ‘Ríochiquito’ in the Central Chain of the Andes, failed until a full-scale military operation, involving thousands of troops backed by air strikes and advised and supplied by the United States armed forces, entered the area in 1964 and 1965. The territorial control of the Communist forces was broken. Their political influence did not decline, however, and their military force did not disappear. Rather, they reverted to mobile guerrilla tactics with the organization of the ‘Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia’...commanded by Manuel Marulanda Vélez, also know as ‘Tirofijo’" (pages 224-225).

Payne 1968: "Colombian parties and national factions, 1965" (page 187). Shows leaders of divisions within each party.


Chernick 1999: "The FARC’s origins can be traced to the communist self-defense organizations of the 1940s and 1950s and Liberal Party guerrilla factions who refused to accept the amnesties offered in 1953 and 1958, when the leadership of the two traditional parties put an end to ‘la Violencia.’ In 1966, following bombing campaigns by the state against the isolated communist communities known as Independent Republics, the FARC was founded as a mobile guerrilla force with a wider range of action than the early self-defense communities" (page 196).

Schoultz 1972: In 1966, the Supreme Court overturned Rojas’s conviction (page 35).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "The ELN gained its greatest notoriety when Father Camilo Torres Restrepo, a Roman Catholic priest, joined the guerrilla group in 1966 and was killed in an armed conflict with government forces shortly thereafter. In 1966 another guerrilla movement—the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia—FARC)--began operating and was officially designated as a branch of the PCC" (page 44).


ICSPS 1966: "(I)n January 1966, a new department, Quindío, was created" (page 12). This increased the number of senators and representatives in the national congress.

March: congressional and departmental elections

Bushnell 1993: "In the congressional elections of 1966, the two wings of ANAPO won between them almost 20 percent of the seats" (page 229).

Eastman 1982: "Votación para asambleas departamentales 28 de marzo de 1966" (pages 622-623). Gives number of votes for divisions within Liberal and Conservative parties, other parties, total votes, and blank and null votes in each department. "Votación para cámara 20 de marzo de 1966" (pages 654-656). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes. . "Votación para senado 20 de marzo de 1966" (pages 675-676). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes.

Gilhodes 1973: "Results of the March 1966 elections (% for the various parties)" (page 295). Gives results by department.

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Resultado de la votación para senado: elecciones del 20 de marzo de 1966" (page 208). Gives by department the votes for Conservatives and Liberals, null votes, blank votes, and total votes. "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 20 de marzo de 1966" (page 242). Gives by department the vote for Conservatives and Liberals, null votes, blank votes, total votes, and potential voters.

ICSPS 1966: "On March 20, 1966, elections were held for all members of the Senate, the House of Representatives, the departmental assemblies, the municipal councils, and the intendency councils" (page 12). "Congressional and departmental assembly offices filled, March 20, 1966" (page 12). Gives by department the numbers of senators and representatives in the national congress and the number of departmental deputies.

Martz 1997: "At the elections on 20 March 1966, the number of ballots cast totalled 2,939,222. This translated into an abstention rate of 55.5 percent" (page 115). Gives the number of votes and percent of votes for the Liberals, including the percent for each faction. Gives the number of seats for each faction of each party.

Mauceri 1989: "The first serious threat posed to the National Front was by the ANAPO. After the 1966 congressional elections gained that party a surprising number of seats under the Conservative banner, it came increasingly to be viewed as the opposition to the National Front" (page 212).

Serpa Erazo 1999: "Las elecciones de marzo" (pages 429-431). Gives results (pages 430-431).

May: presidential election (Lleras Restrepo / PL)

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

Dix 1967: "Results of presidential voting, May 1966" (page 146). Gives the number of votes and percent of total vote for two candidates.

Eastman 1982: "Votación para presidente de la república período 1966-1970" (page 692). Gives votes for major candidates in all departments.

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Elecciones presidenciales del 1 de mayo de 1966" (page 164). Gives by department the votes for three candidates, others, null votes, blank votes, and total votes.

Martz 1997: "On 1 May, with an electorate officially listed as 6,611,352, a total of 2,638,411 valid votes were cast. The abstention rate of 60.1 was the highest yet in presidential elections under the National Front" (page 116). Gives the number of votes and percent of total vote for the two leading candidates.

Mauceri 1989: In May 1966 "Carlos Lleras Restrepo (a Liberal) is elected president, with 71 percent of the vote" (page 209). "In the presidential elections [in 1966] ANAPO gained nearly a third of the votes, even though the official Liberal candidate Carlos Lleras Restrepo won most of the remaining votes" (page 212).


Gilhodes 1973: "In 1967, the majority of the Liberal Revolutionary Movement, led by Alfonso López, finally returned to the official party, which made the Liberal Party machine available to it once more" (page 311).


Serpa Erazo 1999: Colombia’s Supreme Court restores Rojas Pinilla’s right to vote and run for office on October 18, 1967 (page 440).


Sturges-Vera 1990: "Rural disorders declined markedly as a consequence of optimism on the economic front and the capture of some of the most prominent guerrilla leaders. In 1968, however, a new guerrilla group—the Popular Liberation Army (Ejército Popular de Liberación--EPL)--was formed as the armed branch of the Communist Party of Colombia—Marxist-Leninist (Partido Comunista de Colombia—Marxista-Leninista—PCC-ML), a pro-Chinese group" (page 45).

Constitutional reform

Archer and Shugart 1997: "The powers of the president were expanded…most especially with the constitutional reform of 1968" (page 118).

Dugas 2000: "The transition from the National Front regime actually commenced in 1968 with an extensive constitutional reform designed to prepare Colombia for the gradual resumption of interparty competition. Although presidential alternation and congressional parity were already slated to end in 1974, a constitutional reform was necessary to revise the other parity arrangements. The 1968 reform hastened the end of pwer sharing in some areas, but it postponed it in others—sometimes indefinitely" (pages 94-95). Describes the impact of the reforms on elections for municipal and departmental assemblies and appointments of governors, mayors, and other noncivil service administrative positions.

Hudson 1990: "The 1968 constitutional reforms provided for a carefully measured transition from the National Front to traditional two-party competition. They also provided some measure of recognition for minority parties that previously were prohibited from participating in the government…[They] also ended, beginning in 1970, the parity requirement for legislative seats at the municipal and departmental levels" (page 198).

Latorre Rueda 1980: "El origen del plebiscito y algunos aspectos de la reforma de 1968" (pages 163-245).

Nielson and Shugart 1999: "After 1968, amendments to the constitution required only an absolute majority of all members of each house, voting in two consecutive regular legislative sessions. Thus, in principle, the legislative majority can do anything it wants with the constitution" (page 321).

March: congressional and departmental elections

Chronicle of parliamentary elections 2 1968: "The Colombian Parliament consists of the House of Representatives, comprising 204 members elected for 2 years, and the Senate, with 106 senators elected for 4 years" (page 31). Describes the electoral system and "general political considerations and conduct of the elections" (pages 31-33). "The defection, in August 1967, of most MRL supporters to the official Liberal Party enabled the Government lists to win more than two-thirds of the seats in the House of Representatives, i.e. 142 seats instead of the 99 obtained in the March 1965 elections" (pages 32-33). Gives numbers of registered voters, voters, blank or void ballot papers, and valid votes, and numbers of votes and seats won by lists within each party (page 33).

Colombia. Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil 1968: "(S)e indican…los resultados obtenidos en las elecciones para Representantes, Diputados y Consejeros Intendenciales, llevados a término el 17 de marzo de 1968" ("advertencia"). See information under "Estadísticas electorales (1970) 1971" for elections of April 1970 for descriptions of tables included in this volume.

Duff 1971: "Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of Colombian congressmen is their transience. The 1968 elections to the Chamber of Deputies produced a personnel turnover of 63.5 percent, and even this was less turnover than in earlier Congresses. Of two hundred and fourteen representatives elected, one hundred and twenty-nine were new faces in the Chamber. The Colombian Congress appears to be largely a man’s world, in keeping with general Colombian ideas on the place of women. Of a total of four hundred and twenty-eight representatives and ‘suplentes’ elected in the 1968 elections, only thirty-five were women, and of these thirty-five, only eight were elected as principals, while twenty-seven were elected as ‘suplentes’" (page 388).

Eastman 1982: "Votación para asambleas departamentales 17 de marzo de 1968" (pages 624-626). Gives number of votes for divisions within Liberal and Conservative parties, other parties, total votes, and blank and null votes in each department. "Votación para cámara 17 de marzo de 1968" (pages 657-659). Gives number of votes for each party in each department and total votes.

Historia electoral colombiana, 1810-1988 1991: "Cámara de representantes: elecciones del 17 de marzo de 1968" (page 243). Gives by department the vote for Conservatives and Liberals, null votes, blank votes, total votes, and potential voters.

Hoskin 1971: A "feature of the electoral system that impinges upon representation is the principal-alternate designation of congressmen. For every principal elected, an alternate also is selected who may serve as a department’s representative during the entire session, with the principal never taking his seat in the legislature" (page 415).

Kline 1995: "In the 1968 lower-house election…there were 111 Liberal and 108 Conservative lists of candidates in the twenty-three electoral districts (corresponding to departments). The multiplicity of lists was more pronounced in some departments than in others; the most extreme case was in Nariño, in which there were 10 Liberal and 8 Conservative lists" (page 50).

Latorre Rueda 1974: "Votación por grupos políticos. Elecciones de 1968" (page 219). Gives votes for each faction. "Votación en Bogotá. Elecciones de 1968" (page 220).

Martz 1997: "On 17 March 1968, a total of 2,496,455 votes were cast—a mere 37.3 percent of eligible voters" (page 132). Gives the number of votes for each faction in each party and the seats won.

Morcillo 1972: Analyzes 1968 elections in Cali.

Serpa Erazo 1999: "En Boyacá la lista de Rojas obtuvo la mayoría de la votación conservadora con 34.525 votos, habiendo elegido 3 representantes, entre ellos al mismo general quien el 20 de julio de 1968, ingresó al Capitolio Nacional ostentando la calidad de congresista" (page 442). Gives other results of the election (page 443).

Sturges-Vera 1990: "In the 1968 congressional elections, those elements of both the PL and PC that supported the National Front arrangement gained a strong majority in the legislature. Voter apathy persisted, however, and less than 40 percent of eligible voters participated" (page 46).