Why the 20th of July is so important in Colombia

It was a Friday, market day, when all the people walked the streets of Santa Fe (old name of Bogotá) and the people revolted to achieve autonomy and absolute independence of Spain.

The criollos were tired of the abuses of the Spanish government and the 20 of July of 1810 was the day in which the cup was overflowed!

The junta of notables then proposed to create an incident with the Spaniards, in order to create a conflictive situation that would give rise to the potential discontent that existed in Santafé against the Spanish audience.

Don Antonio Morales said that the incident could be provoked with the peninsular merchant Don Jose Gonzalez Llorente and offered willing “con mucho gusto” (with pleasure) to intervene in the argument. The notable criollos accepted the proposal and decided to execute the project on Friday, July 20, when the Plaza Mayor would be full of people from all part of the city and region, as it is the usual market day.

It was agreed that a group of criollos (headed by Pantaleón Santamaría and the Morales brothers) will go to the store of Llorente  to ask to borrow a vase or any kind of adornment that would serve to decorate the table of an announced banquet in honor of another criollo: Antonio Villavicencio. In the case of a refusal, the Morales brothers would proceed to attack the Spaniard.

As they imagined, Llorente refused to borrow the vase, but his refusal was not given on rude terms. He simply explained that he had borrowed the vase many times and that he was mistreating and therefore losing his value.

So they started to accuse with very bad insults Llorente, shouting on the square bad words and accusation about him.

Indians, whites, patricians, plebeians, rich and poor began to break the stained glass and force the doors, and a big, huge fight started!

20th July Colombia

But this revolution did not have the projections that were to be expected, since a large part of those who intervened were Indians and inhabitants of the villages of the Savannah, who were returning to their villages.

Then, Acevedo Gomez, one of the leaders of the Creole oligarchy, assembled the Cabildo and built the famous Junta de Gobierno, which would replace the viceroyalty, signing the Act of Independence.