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History - Cartagena de Indias - Declaration of Independence

The Independence of Cartagena

Declaration of Absolute Independence from Spain (1811)

At the end of the first decade of de XIX th century there was a division between the people of Cartagena de Indias produced by the existence of two parties: the Toledistas and the Piñeristas. The Toledistas were commanded by José María García de Toledo and the Piñeristas were directed by the brothers Germán and Gabriel Gutierrez de Piñeres.

There was a struggle for the Presidency of the Supreme Government Board, created to direct the destiny of cartagena de Indias while the situation in Spain was restored.

The position was won in the elections by García de Toledo. In their frustration, Piñeres brothers designed a campaign aimed to win the support of the people: the absolute independence from Spain.

The party and patriotic pride of the Piñeres was at stake. The brothers decided to gather the people and stimulate it to pressure the declaration of absolute independence. On November 11th of 1811, the Supreme Government Board would meet at the Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace) to discuss certain themes, among them the declaration of absolute independence proposed by Germán Gutierrez de Piñeres who was member of the Board.

The Cartageneros gathered in the Getsemaní neighborhood, summoned by the Piñeres, and waited impatiently during the crucial meeting. With the news that the declaration would be postponed the inflamed multitude harangued by the Piñeristas entered the Plaza de la Aduana where they pulled out enough provisioning from the Sala de Armas (Weapons Room) to press by force if necessary the Government Board.

The mob entered the Palacio de Gobierno and in the middle of recriminations to the postponers, they managed to get those gathered; Toledistas, Piñeristas (that represented the power by force) and others, to sign the Act of Absolute Independence from Spain.

Later, to make it public, the Board ordered the reading of the "Bando" (proclamation), swearing to definitively separate from the Spanish Crown.


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