The women of 1819

Celebrating the Bicentennial of the Battle of Boyacá, in Colombia, we pay tribute to the women who collaborated to make Latin America a free region

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Latin American Post | Luis Henriquev Gómez Casabianca

Today, Colombians celebrate 200 years of the Battle of Boyaca. The battle of Boyacá was the final  confrontation of the war of independence of Colombia. that guaranteed the success of the Liberating Campaign of New Granada. This event took place on August 7, 1819 at the crossroads of the Teatinos River, near Tunja. The battle ended with the mass surrender of the realistic division, and was the culmination of 78 days of campaign initiated from Venezuela by Simón Bolívar to independence the Viceroyalty of New Granada.

When the year 1819 began, New Granada

continued subject to

Terror Regime, im-

 planted by Morillo and Sámano.

Although General Morillo is

had displaced Venezuela in

Santafé de Bogotá was still slowly

chando and directing the repression the

viceroy Juan Sámano, who, requires

Arciniegas (2009, 98) “I was old, lame

and something hunchback, of a wayward character,

something scolding and very cruel to

 Patriots. " The shootings still

They continued in 1819.

Facing repression and fighting-

against discouragement, in certain

New Granada regions are

they maintained pockets of resistance,

Some of which were supported or

Directed by women. In the plains

del Casanare, the Santander group

received considerable support, in

cattle and horses, of the landowner

María Rosa Lazo de la Vega. To the

north of Cundinamarca, the group

of the Almeyda was sponsored by

the landowner Gertrudis Vanegas of

Vasquez In El Socorro acted a

group organized by Mrs. Antonia


Many of the leaders of the movement

independence lie had fallen

on the battlefields, others were

executed, many were

 prisoners and not few had chosen

 for hiding in remote places.

In the capital, women, wives, girlfriends, sisters, daughters and mothers of

those patriots suffered the inde-

cible, they wondered if they would return

to see them and when would that end

torture. To some of these ladies and

their families had been seized

tados his property and suffered punishment

of exile in modest villages.

Among them, let's mention:

Mrs. Andrea Ricaurte de Lozano,

who will lead the Policarpa group,

after the execution of the latter, it was

terraced to the population of Fusagasugá,

where they led her on foot, next to

his granddaughter Dolores Vargas.

Doña Josefa Baraya who started

cipó in the events of July 20,

she was banished with her children to the town

of Blanket

Doña Dolores Nariño (sister

of the predecessor) was taken to Zipacón

with his daughters and nieces Mercedes e

Isabel. “Where - Monsalve indicates-

he forced them to march on foot and under

the surveillance of unworthy soldiers and

you know. ”

Teacher Barbara Forero, natu-

ral de Zipaquirá, for having been present

Tado to harangue in public, had been

banished to Suesca.

Carmen Rodríguez de Gaitán, who will participate in the group of

Andrea Ricaurte and Policarpa Salava-

rrieta, he was in prison.


Probably nobody knew or

imagined in the suffering capital of

viceroyalty that a liberating force

was approaching from the Orien Plains

such. It was an army commanding

Bolívar, who was accompanied by

General Santander, Anzoátegui,

Soublette and the officers Paris, Lara,

Morales, Cordoba, Almeida, Ibarra

and Rooke, commanding the British Legion

tannic, for a total of about 2,500

mens. The patriots had

charted the plan to cross the Plains,

ascend the eastern mountain range, cross

the Pisba wasteland to reach Bo-

Jack, face the colonel's army

Barreiro and move towards the capital.

On June 22, the army of Bolivar

left Pore and started to come back

the mountain range, the 27 the vanguard of

Santander scored a win at Paya

and between July 1 and 6, the force

The expeditionary crossed the moor

amid unprecedented sufferings to

cause of cold, rains and fatigue.

Several women collaborated with

the bold effort that the

crossing the mountain range by the army

 patriot. Some like "juanas",

auxiliaries or nurses, other en-

bringing him clothes, horses and even

his children, as dis Matilde

Anaray, Casilda Zafra and Juana Velas-

Co de Gallo.


On July 10, an advanced

 patriot was beaten close to town

de Gámeza and 37 of its members

captured, like a young woman-

appointment that had come to help them,

called Juana Escobar. In one act

bloodthirsty, Barreiro made them love-

pray two by two, back to back

Give, and throw them. A new fight

was fought in the rock of Tópaga, the 11

of July and they managed to impose themselves

The patriots.

Antonia Santos

General Páez had to move towards Cúcuta to divide the forces

Realists who guarded the mountain range,

 But he did not. Instead, a task

similar met the young Antonia

Saints. He had organized a war

the patriot - that of Coromoro - from

his hacienda El Hatillo, province

Relief Ibáñez points out: “The se-

Miss Santos was the protective angel

of those brave patriots; she

he sold his jewels and sacrificed his flow

 to assist independent soldiers


The group of Antonia Santos launched

a series of offensive actions against

tra realists, including one that

managed to stop the column of

General Sebastián Calzada who came

from Venezuela to join forces

with those of Barreiro. This, not only

 deprived Barreiro of such an important

reinforcement but forced him to divide

Your army. To that area sent to

Captain Lucas González, with the order

of crushing that insurgent movement

tea. He left in front of 800 men,

 proof of the importance that Barreiro

gave that task

A realistic game took by

surprise to Antonia at her ranch

The Hatillo He submitted it to advice

of war and was sentenced to death

You with four partners. She know

held firm and faced with threats and

interrogations, showed a will


In the province of Tunja

Other women, however, visit

they got the military uniform and even

They came to wield the spear or rifle.

 Nelly Sol Gómez mentions Juana

Béjar, casanareña, excellent rider and very skilled with the spear, who “was accepted in the patriotic army to

 participate in the fighting and reached

the first sergeant grade of the


The brave Simona Amaya, born

in Paya, he joined the army, dressed

man uniform and died fight-

do against the enemy in the Swamp of

Vargas They also participated in this

 battle Teresa Cornejo and Manuela


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Nelly Sol Gómez says that

“Antonia Santos was 37 years old when

do on July 28, 1819 -3 days

after the Battle of the Swamp of

Vargas- was shot. With humiliation

Christian dressed in beautiful outfit

black, her hair loose doing

highlight the whiteness of your skin, without

despondency or arrogance and with the

Serene front, marched with step

worthy of the gallows, between the rows of

soldiers (…) ”

His execution produced a wave of

rage that led to numerous countrymen

to join resistance groups

who faced the hosts of

cruel governor.

After the execution of Antonia

Santos, Captain Gonzalez received

Barreiro's order to return for

join forces with him. “In cum-

 pledge of that order, González

marched with about 800 men towards

Oiba and then to Charalá, step obli-

gado towards the south ”, refers the general

Valencia Tovar.

But Bolivar had sent the

Colonel Fortoul to Pamplona and to

Antonio Morales towards El Socorro,

 to take over the groups

insurgents Fortoul managed to coordinate

a contingent of peasants from

Charalá and with this he sought to close the

 happened to the army of González. The COM-

 bat was produced on the banks of the Pien- river

ta. After a violent confrontation,

the royalists managed to force the

 position. “There he perished, finalized by

realistic soldiers, Helena Santos

Rosillo, niece of Antonia ”-said

Valencia Tovar-.

But those efforts and sacrifices

they managed to delay the arrival of reinforcement

zos to Barreiro, which probably

It was crucial.


Then, on August 7, 1819,

in the Battle of the Boyacá Bridge,

they fought at the orders of Bolivar,

Evangelista Tamayo, a native of Tun-

 ha, and Juana Rodríguez, who turned out

wound on one leg


After the defeat and the capture of

Barreiro in Boyacá, and the escape of

Sámano, Bolívar and his army, in-

they brought triumphant in Santafé, being

honored by the city. Happy

they paraded “under rain of flowers and the

roar of martial music. ”

Paulo Forero says that the new

 governing board of the esco city

He turned to "twenty young ladies, all young

and beautiful, so that they watered roses

The path of the victors. The only

requirement for the choice was that

the twenty maidens were daughters of

Martyrs of Independence. " Then

they handed them a crown of

golden laurels and they imposed the

decoration of Boyacá, which by

 First time it was granted.

It was these young women: Dolores

Vargas Paris, Nieves Pinzón, Ber-

nardina Ibáñez, Josefina Navarro,

Josefa Santamaría, Francisca Or-

Tega (Nariño's niece), Rosa

Dominguez, Mariquita de la Roche,

Dionisia Caicedo, Liberata Ricaurte,

Rita Paris, Dolores Rivas, Juana

Ricaurte, Trinidad Ricaurte, Josefa

Benítez, Rosa Rubio, Clara Angulo,

Josefa Arce, Ignacia Briceño and Mar-

Celina Andrade.

In the following months and years,

some of them got married

boy with his liberators. Thus: Dolores

Vargas Paris with General Rafael

Urdaneta; Snow Finch with the co-

Ronel Narciso Yepes; Ladybug of the

Roche with Colonel Joaquin Paris;

Francisca Ortega with Colonel Fran-

cisco of Paula Vélez; Rita Paris with

British captain Enrique Mayne;

Rosa Domínguez with the diplomat

Pedro Gual Others married

civilians, mainly from Santander:

Bolivar was a generous man.

In 1821 he determined to help a series

of ladies who because of Independence

They had been very difficult

The economic conditions. Joaquin

Monsalve notes that the Liberator

bought a house, for $ 8,000 pesos,

for Mrs. Manuela Arias widow of

Ibáñez, and allocated part of his salary

as president to support in

Bogota of:

Francisca Prieto - widow of Camilo

Torres- (thousand pesos annually), Rosa,

Gertrudis and Jacinta Párraga (thousand pesos

annual), Josefa Baraya (400 pesos

annual), Genoveva Ricaurte (300

 annual pesos), Josefa Bastidas (300

 annual pesos), Gabriela Barriga (200

 annual pesos), Manuela Ortega (200

 annual pesos), Marcelina Lagos (80

 monthly pesos), Dolores Olano (20

 monthly pesos), Barbara Ortiz (20

 monthly pesos) and María de la Luz

Rivadeneira (unspecified figure).

(Monsalve, 1926, 157).

Later the Liberator provided

also your help to other women in

Caracas, Maracaibo and Cartagena.


A determined activist who was saved

to die, thanks to the arrival of

 patriots, was Carmen Rodriguez of

Gaitán, who was imprisoned and

I was going to be shot.

After the defeat of the Spaniards,

many of them fled to La

Mesa, in the direction of the Magdale River-

na, and some even sold their

weapons. A landowner from that area,

Mrs. María Agudelo de Olaya, is-

 poses of the hero José Antonio Olaya,

bought some of those weapons from

runaway soldiers and handed them over to

José Hilario López who thus achieved

form a patrol that fought

to the remaining enemy forces,

harassed General Calzada and released

Several prisoners.


A few days after the triumphs of

Boyacá, Bolívar traveled to Venezuela and

 He spent the night in El Socorro. There I gave them

pay homage to Antonia Santos and

to the socorran heroines. To these they

He said, among other things:

“The mothers of Sparta do not pre

guntaban for the lives of their children,

but for the victory of his homeland (…)

Mothers, wives, sisters, who

 you can follow your tracks in

the race of heroism? There will be

men worthy of you? Do not,

no, but you are worthy of

the admiration of the universe and of the

adoration of the liberators of


Patriotism teachers

Bolivar's army received dis-

inks support samples during the

liberating campaign of 1819, “but

it was the women who gave the

higher note, the ones that most moved

they saw with their gifts the Liberator and

to his soldiers, those who did more

 for the advent of the Fatherland, the

who performed the miracle, according to the

expression of Bolívar ”(Lozano y

Lozano, 1989, 388).

The ladies of different conditions

social organizations that collaborated with the

cause of freedom, they took great

risks and provided their support of

different ways: with provisions,

with horses, with clothes, with weapons,

with valuable information, acting

as nurses, as guides, as

warriors, with the delivery of their children,

with the sacrifice of his goods, his

tranquility, your health and sometimes of

their lives.

All of them were teachers of

 patriotism, examples of greatness,

of detachment, of solidarity,

of sacrifice, of intelligence, of


His contest was vital for the

success of the liberating campaign. By

that we must honor not only the

 brave soldiers who gave us the

freedom, but women - of all

ages and social conditions-

That also made it possible.

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