Colombia is divided into administrative units known as ‘‘departments’’ that
equivalent to ‘‘states.’’ In this book I will use the terms ‘‘province,’’ ‘‘departme
and ‘‘region’’ interchangeably to refer to Antioquia and other Colombian sta
La Violencia refers to the episodic phenomenon of Colombian civil unrest t
occurred between  and . No exact consensus exists regarding the
ginning or endpoint of the Violence. Some scholars argue that violence be
as early as the s, others date its inception to the election of Conserva
Mariano Ospina Pérez as president in , and many mark the assassinat
of Liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán as the ‘‘real’’ beginning of la Violen
Regardless of the exact date, most scholars agree that the ‘‘classic’’ period
violence—waged between Conservatives and Liberals primarily in defens
traditional nineteenth-century partisan banners—ended with the militaryc
of General Rojas Pinilla on June , . Subsequent years of violence are g
erally divided into stages characterized by military government (–),
substitution of partisan concerns with social banditry (the mid-s thro
the early s), and, ultimately, the emergence of contemporary armed lef
guerrilla movements (after ). A fuller elaboration of the complexity o
Violencia is provided below and in note  below.
Scholars dedicated to the study of violence in Colombia are informally kno
as ‘‘violentologists.’’
Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (), Colombia e
dística (Bogotá, ), table , ; , Panorama estadístico de Antioq
(hereafter, ) (Bogotá, ), table ..., ‘‘Población por sexo, según mu
cipios: censos de –,’’ pp. –.
Scholars debate the total number of deaths caused by la Violencia. The low
estimate of deaths is , while other estimates are as high as ,
have relied on the statistics calculated by Paul Oquist in Violence, Conflict,
Politics in Colombia (New York: Academic Press, ), table ., ‘‘Distribut
of Violencia Fatalities for the Ten Most Affected Departments, –,’’ p
Nationally, the provinces of Viejo Caldas (listed by Oquist as ‘‘Caldas Antig
and currently divided into the provinces of Caldas, Quindío, and Risaral
Tolima, Norte de Santander, and Santander were ranked respectively as fi
second, fourth, and fifth in terms of total casualties.
Oquist, Violence, Conflict, and Politics, table ., ‘‘Migrations, Fatalities,
Land Parcels Lost due to La Violencia,’’ p. .
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