Cano, María de los Ángeles (1887–1967)

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Cano, María de los Ángeles (1887–1967)

María de los Ángeles Cano (b. 12 August 1887; d. 26 April 1967), Colombian labor leader and feminist. An icon of the Colombian Left, Cano was born into a prominent family in Medellín. Small in stature, she had great energy combined with a deeply felt social conscience. Reared in a liberal-minded home, she absorbed secular literature, encouraged by her educator father. She became a journalist in Medellín, thereby gaining access to international wire services, which from 1922 on, reported on the Soviet Union. Cano came to admire that nation greatly and also began to meet with artisans and workers, who as part of May Day festivities proclaimed her the "Flower of Medellín Labor" in 1925. Over the next several months, Cano made seven nationwide tours in which she spoke out for socialism and workers' rights. Despite official persecution, workers' groups proclaimed her the "National Flower of Labor," in November 1926. She was among the founders of the Partido Social Revolucionario in September 1927. Although she was not a participant in the banana workers' strike against United Fruit Company (November-December 1928) at Santa Marta, her oratory on behalf of labor did help to create a climate favorable for such action. Cano was imprisoned and harassed, yet she continued her activities. After the mid-1930s, her health deteriorated, however, and her political activities ceased. Cano died in Medellín.

See alsoCommunism; Feminism and Feminist Organizations; Labor Movements.


Ignacio Torres Giraldo, María Cano, mujer rebelde (1972).

María Cano, Escritos (1985).

Gilberto Mejía V., Memorias: El comunismo en Antioquia (María Cano) (1986).

León Zuleta Ruiz, comp., Flor del trabajo y semilla de esperanza: Memorias de su centenario (1988).

Robert H. Davis, Historical Dictionary of Colombia (1993).

Additional Bibliography

Arango Jaramillo, Mario. Maria Cano, Flor Eterna, Siempreviva. Medellín: Cátedra María Cano, UMC, Fundación Universitaria María Cano, 2001.

                                     J. LeÓn Helguera