Chronography of Colombia

Page last modified 25 Noveember 2023


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See also Central/South America for other Latin American / Caribbean countries

See also Panama for cession from Colombia and construction of Canal


Graphic of Latin America 2010-19 socio-political


Demography of Colombia


June 2017, In Colombia, FARC rebels handed in their weapons, formally ending their insurgency.

11/2016, The Colombian Government and FARC signed a new peace deal in Cuba.

10/2016, In a referendum, the Colombian people rejected a peace deal between the government and Communist FARC guerillas

6/2016, A ceasefire in the 52-year long guerrilla war between the Colombian Government and Communist FARC rebels. The war had killed over 220,000 people and displaced 6 million Colombians.

2006, President Uribe won a second 4-year term in office.

13 September 2005, Julio Cesar Turbay, President of Colombia 1987-82, died (born 18 June 1916)

2003, The Right-wing United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia began to disarm.

2002, Peace talks between the Colombian Government and FARC and the National Liberation Army broke down; the Colombian Army then invaded a demilitarised safe area granted to FARC as part of a peace deal.

26 May 2002, Right-wing independent candidate Alvaro Uribe was electedPresident of Colombia.

2001, The USA began aerial spraying the illegal coca plantations in the south. The herbicide spraying also killed food crops, provoking resentment from farmers. Coca production fell 30% in 2002.

1999, The guerrilla war in Colombia intensified; Communist FARC supporters kidnapped some 3,000 people.

1998, Conservative Andres Pastrana Arango became President.

1997, In Colombia the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC) Party was founded by three brothers whose father had been killed by FARC. The AUC went on to kill thousands of FARC supporters.

1996, Colombian President Ernesto Samper was cleared of charges that he received drugs funds for his election campaign.

1994, Ernesto Samper Pizano, Liberal, was elected President.

1992, Drugs cartel leader Pablo Escobar was arrested; however he later escaped, but was shot dead by police in 1993.

1991, The Liberal Party won elections. Constititutional reforms legalised divorce and prohibited the extradition of Colombian nationals. The democratic rights of indigenous peoples were recognised, but their land claims remained unresolved.

1990, After a violent election campaign, Liberal Cesar Gavira became President. He began an anti-drugs campaign.

1989, M-19 reached a peace agreement with the Government, which included a full pardon and legitimising M-19 as a legal political Party.

6 December 1989, In Colombia, 40 were killed by a bomb at the security police headquarters.

27 August 1989, The Medellin drugs cartel declared guerrilla war on the Colombian Government, after President Virgilio Barco reinstated extradition to the USA, a process abandoned by the courts after bribery and threats of violence.

1986, Virgilio Barco Vargas, Liberal Party, won the Presidency by a record margin, and ended power-sharing with the Conservatives. The Patriotic Union Party won 11 seats in Parliament.

1986, In Colombia the Patriotic Union Party, founded by FARC Communist rebels,won several elections. However its leaders were targeted by right-wing forces.

6 November 1985, M-19 guerrillas invaded the Ministry of Justice, gunning down 11 judges and 90 other people.

1984, The Colombian Minister of Justice was assassinated for enforcing an anti-drugs campaign.

1982, Communist FARC rebels in Colombia started initial peace talks with Colombian President Belisario Betancur.

18 March 1981, Many M-19 guerrillas were killed in a shoot-out with the Colombian Army

1 January 1979, M-19 leftist guerrillas (see 19 May 1970) captured over 5,000 weapons from the main military arsenal in Bogota

1978, The Liberal Government began a campaign against drug dealers.

1975, Civil unrest as popular discontent with the Government increased.

19 May 1970, Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1900-75), Colombian Army General, lost the Colombian elections; he had stood on a Populist platform. In the 1990s Colombia was host to a Leftist guerrilla group named M-19 after this date.

5/1966, Communist guerillas under Manuel Marilunda joined with other left-wing rebels in Colombia to form the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). They raised money by kidnappings and drug trafficking.

1965, Left-Wing guerrillas formed the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Maoist Popular Liberation Army.

5/1964, Around 50 Communist rebels against the Colombian Government organised under the leadership of Manuel Marilunda.

4 May 1958, The Liberals and Conservatives agreed to a period of alternating Government ina National Front, with other Parties banned, until 1974. Alberto Lleras Camargo was chosen as President of Colombia

11 May 1957, Gabriel Paris formed the government of Colombia.

14 June 1953, Military coup by General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla in Colombia. A period of dictatorship began, lasting until 1957.

10 June 1953, General Rojas Pinilla began a coup in Colombia

17 April 1952, The USA signed a military assistance pact with Colombia.

9 April 1948, Major riots in Bogota, Colombia, following the assassination of the popular Liberal-nationalist politician, Jorge Eliecer Gaitan. La Violencia began, lasting until 1950; over 250,000 people died in this conflict. Martial law was declared under moderate-Conservative Mariano Ospina Perez; the pro-Nazi Gomez became President of Colombia in 1950.

1946. The Conservatives took power.

1 May 1938, Presidential elections were held in Colombia. Eduardo Santos ran unopposed and received 100% of the vote.

6 July 1937, Carlos Eugenio Restrepo, 7th President of Colombia, died aged 69.

24 May 1934, Colombia and Peru negotiated over the disputed Amazonian port of Leticia, claimed by both countries.

1 September 1932, A band of Peruvians invaded the Colombian port of Leticia, on the Amazon; the Peruvian Government backed their action.

1930, Liberal President Olaya Herrera took power from the Conservatives in the country�s first peaceful transfer of power.

3 August 1909, General Ramon Gonzalez Valencia was chosen as 12th President of Colombia, to fill the remaining year of the term of Rafael Reyes. Gonzalez had been Reyes's Vice-President, but had been fired in 1905 by Reyes, who then abolished the office.

28 July 1904, In Colombia, Rafael Reyes became dictator. After the loss ofPanama, Reyes now reformed Colombia�s finances.

17 October 1903, Following the Colombian Senate�s refusal, in August 1903, of the US�s offer (June 1902) to buy the Panama Canal Zone for US$ 10 million, Panamanian dissidents travelled to Washington and agreed to stage a US backed secession of Panama from Colombia. The date for this secession was set for 3 November 1903 at 6pm, local time. The Panamanians were led by Dr Manuel Amador. President Roosevelt was angered by the Colombian rebuttal, and was said to have referred to �those contemptible little creatures in Bogota�.

18 September 1901, Venezuelan forces who had invaded Colombia were routed at La Hacha. President Castro of Venezuela was also facing internal dissention and was using the Colombian conflict as a means of uniting his country.

9 August 1901. Colombian troops invaded Venezuela. Colombian rebels had been using Venezuelan territory as a base.

15 September 1900, Arbitration by the French president settled a boundary dispute between Costa Rica and Panama (then a province of Colombia).

31 July 1900, Vice President Jose Marroquin (1827-1908) seized control of government and deposed President Saclamente; he was imprisoned, where he died in 3/1902.

1899, Revolt against the One-Party Conservative rule (lasting 1886-1930). By the time this �War of 1,000 Days� ended in 1902 in failure, 120,000 had died in 3/1902.

6 August 1898, Colombia and Peru signed a treaty of friendship and extradition of criminals.

21 November 1896, Colombia and Venezuela signed a treaty of friendship.

27 October 1892, Colombia and Italy signed a treaty of friendship.

16 March 1891, A boundary dispute between Colombia and Venezuela was resolved via mediation by Spain.

27 October 1888, Colombia and the UK signed an extradition of criminals treaty.

5 September 1885, Rebels in a brief civil war in Colombia surrendered and peace was made with the government.

April 1882, Senor Francisco J Laldua became President. However he died a year kater, and General Eusebio Otalora was nominated to complete his term.

20 July 1881, Colombia and The Netherlands signed a consular convention.

30 January 1881, Colombia and Spain signed treaty of friendship.

July 1861, Democrat forces captured Bogota, and set up a new government.

1859, Insurrection broke out in Colombia.

1849, The centralist Conservative Party, and the federalist Liberal Party, were founded.

1832, Internal conflict within Colombia, lasting until 1841.

21 November 1831, The Republic of New Granada was officially founded.

1830, Venezuela and Ecuador broke away from Gran Colombia.

July 1819, Simon Bolivar defeated the Spanish at Boyaca, securing the independence of Colombia. Gran Colombia was formed, which included Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and Ecuador. Bogota was made the capital of New Granada.

1717, Santa Fe de Bogota became the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada.

20 July 1810, Colombia (New Granada) declared its independence from Spain.

6 August 1538, Bogota, Colombia, was reached by Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada. It was then the capital city of the Muisca/Chichba people. He was exploring Colombia, searching for the fabled El Dorado. Quesada named the country New Granada.

1525, Spain began the conquest of Colombia, subjugating the indigenous Cibcha people of Colombia and Panama.

1499, First Spanish explorers reached what is now Colombia.


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