José Maria, the only indigenous president of Colombia – Political Parties – Politics

Melo was shot dead in Mexico, being regional commander of the troops of Benito Juárez. His remains are found in the Aztec country, in a farm called La Juncaná, in the State of Chiapas. There is a modest monument there that commemorates him.

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May 21, 1851 Jose Hilario Lopez (who is supported by Melo, who was also from the Liberal party) is elected president and decrees the freedom of the slaves on May 21 of that year. This was not to the liking of the conservatives, who are up in arms, opposing the new reforms.

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José María Melo, former president of the Republic of New Granadal.

However, the conservatives arm themselves against Melo, asking for a return to slavery and on December 4 of that same year he suffers a coup.

In 1855 there is a political trial against him, in which the members of the Conservative party They prosecute him for alleged military insubordination. The sentence handed down against him is banishment and he is expelled from the country along with 200 other revolutionaries.

After his exile, on October 10, 1859, Melo arrived at the border of Mexico and the then president Benito Juarez he accepts his incorporation as General of the Army of the Aztec country, to fight against foreign intervention in the so-called War of the Reformation.

This led to his death. On June 10, 1860, the small army that Melo had organized to protect the border with Guatemala from the Mexican conservative general Juan Antonio Ortega, is surprised and attacked. In that battle Melo is shot and dies.

Although on two occasions efforts were made to repatriate the body of the General of Pijao origin – as he was the only former president of Colombia who was shot and buried in another country – in the end, it was not achieved.

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