Herrera, Benjamín (1850–1924)

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Herrera, Benjamín (1850–1924)

Benjamín Herrera (b. 1850, d. 29 February 1924), Colombian Liberal Party leader. Herrera was born in Cali of northern Colombian parents. He fought for the Liberal government in the revolution of 1876–1877 and was an officer in the Colombian army until the Liberals lost power in the mid-1880s. During the War of the Thousand Days (1899–1902), Herrera emerged along with Rafael Uribe Uribe as a top Liberal military leader. By late 1902 Herrera controlled most of Panama, but he was urged to make peace by Uribe, who himself took this step in October. When U.S. officials warned that they would not permit fighting near Panama City or Colón, Herrera signed a treaty with the Colombian government on 21 November 1902 that virtually ended the war.

In the postwar period Herrera often differed with Uribe regarding Liberal policy in the face of Conservative hegemony in government, but he remained a proponent of peaceful opposition. In 1922 he was the Liberal presidential candidate but was defeated by Conservative Pedro Nel Ospina by a vote of 413,619 to 256,231 in what Liberals claimed was a fraudulent election.

See alsoColombia, Political Parties: Liberal Party; Ospina, Pedro Nel.


Charles W. Bergquist, Coffee and Conflict in Colombia, 1886–1910 (1978).

Lucas Caballero, Memorias de la guerra de los mil días (1939).

J. A. Osorio Lizarazo, "Biografía de un caudillo: Benjamín Herrera," in Revista de América 10 (April 1947): 36-63.

Additional Bibliography

Galindo H, Julio Roberto. Benjamín Herrera, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán: Grandes caudillos liberales, gestores de la Universidad Libre. Santafé de Bogotá: Corporación Universidad Libre, 1998.

                                         Helen Delpar

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Herrera, Benjamín (1850–1924)

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