Abadía Méndez, Miguel (1867–1947)

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Abadía Méndez, Miguel (1867–1947)

Miguel Abadía Méndez (b. 5 June 1867; d. 15 May 1947), Colombian president (1926–1930). Born in La Vega de los Padres (now Piedras), Tolima, Abadía was sent to Bogotá for his education. He attended various private schools and received his doctorate in law in 1889 from the Colegio del Rosario. He became a publicist for Conservative Party ideals and was editor of several Bogotá newspapers. He also taught history and law. Abadía's energy, dedication, and deserved reputation for probity won him election to several congresses. An expert in constitutional law, he served as minister in the cabinets of several Conservative regimes before becoming president in 1926. During his presidency, the last of the "Conservative Hegemony," there was further irresponsible borrowing abroad to support the country's infrastructure. The economic downturn at the end of the 1920s brought increasingly violent confrontations with newly organizing labor in the petroleum fields (Santander) and the bloody repression of the banana workers' strike (Magdalena, November-December 1928). These episodes in turn provoked further civil unrest, including popular and student demonstrations and deaths (8-9 June 1929) in Bogotá. As a result, Abadía was forced to fire his war minister and others, and the Conservative Party fragmented. His political life was over. He died at La Unión, Cundinamarca, after five years of severe mental illness.

See alsoColombia, Political Parties: Overview; Colombia, Political Parties: Conservative Party.


Terrence B. Horgan, "The Liberals Come to Power in Colombia, por Debajo de la Ruana: A Study of the Enrique Olaya Herrera Administration, 1930–1934" (Ph.D. diss., Vanderbilt University, 1983), pp. 18-56.

Ignacio Arizmendi Posada, Presidentes de Colombia, 1810–1990 (1989), pp. 225-227.

Additional Bibliography

Hernández García, José Angel. La Guerra civil Española y Colombia: Influencia del principal conflicto entreguerras en Colombia. Chía, Cundinamarca, Colombia: Universidad de La Sabana; Bogotá: Editorial Carrera 7a, 2006.

Sáenz Rovner, Eduardo. La ofensiva empresarial: Industriales, políticos, y violencia en los años 40 en Colombia. Bogotá: Grupo de Investigación Conflicto Social y Violencia, Centro de Estudios Sociales-CES, Facultad de Ciencias Humanas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia: Grupo TM, 2007.

Silva, Renán. República liberal, intelectuales y cultura popular. Medellín: Carreta Editores, 2005.

                                       J. LeÓn Helguera