“La Violencia” (1948)

On April 9, 1948, populist politician Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Ayala was assassinated in Colombia, igniting riots in the streets and 10 years of political unrest known as “La Violencia”.  Ayala was a former Education and Labor Minister, and was elected Mayor of Colombia’s capital city of Bogota.  Gaitán earned national prestige through his congressional investigation of the workers’ strike and revolt in the Santa Marta banana zone in 1929.  He documented the excesses of management and the army’s repressive intervention, making him a hero to Colombian rural voters. He was assassinated during his campaign for the presidency.

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