martes, 18 de mayo de 2010


By: Felipe Argote

Pedro Hoyos was the hated ruler of Penonomé and collector of tithes and first fruits of the church. According to the usual medieval law, church required all residents to hand over ten percent of their crop. But not only that, the abusers were snatched from the poor peasants calls firsts, the first fruits of the earth and the first offspring that their animals give birth. So while the Conservative government and the church were becoming richer, the farmers were becoming poorer. But it happened that an indian from Penonomé faced the collector Hoyos. So he decided to make him pay his daring to serve as a warning. Together with a group of buddies the deputy waited Victoriano to kill him with bad luck for him that Victorian was alerted by villagers, so he was ready to confront the ruler, settling the confrontation with the death of Pedro Hoyos.

On May 25, 1900 had started the civil war in Panama with the manifesto of Belisario Porras, a lawyer from Las Tablas, calling for equal democracy. Victoriano already had served nine years in prison for the death in self-defense of the collector Hoyos. He had read about military strategy and had gained the sympathy of prisoners and guards. Now as a free man Victoriano was presented May 25 at Valle de Anton with 500 men

No wonder that his indian condition caused the liberal bias of the generals, especially Emiliano Herrera and Miguel Antonio Noriega. He was assigned the task of carrying weapons and supplies. But on June 7, after the battle of the “old black woman” e received the rank of captain.

Later that month, the liberal forces controlled the entire department except the city of Panama. Under the command of General Emiliano Herrera liberals were just preparing an offensive to enter the city for three different points. Is in that moment when the U.S. consul is involvd. Through a messenger he tells General Herrera tha t if he destroy the city the U.S. troops will intervene. Frightened he decides to develop the offensive on July 25, 1900 by a single point: the Calidonia bridge with the disastrous defeat of the liberal versus conservative army shrapnel.

Victoriano, shrewd as wisw as he was, anticipating the defeat of the Liberals by pithing plan of Herrera, comes with most of its troops to the hill Trinidad. Conservatives soldiers seek to him to “El Cacao” where they found the buried weapons. Unable to find him tey burned all the crops of farmers who supported him, but also they rape all the women and kill all the men in their path. After the withdrawal of conservative troops, the people gather in assembly and vote to continue the war and named Victoriano Lorenzo their General.

This occurred on October 20, 1900. Their weapons consisted of seven rifles captured to conservatives soldiers. By January 1901 the native troops led by General Victoriano Lorenzo had headquarters in La Negrita and prepare the offensive to Penonomé. There liberal General Manuel Antonio Noriega presented accompanied by General Manuel Patiño. Victoriano was required to submit to him and recognize him as commander in chief. Victoriano did not answer immediately. He said he would consult with his generals. Following consultation informed him that they had decided unanimously to reject the offer of the eponymous general who is currently imprisoned in Paris. It was during this meeting that General Victoriano Lorenzo said his famous phrase: the fight is fighting when he told Noriega: I am informed and I have seen, General Noriega, that you are writing letters to the Governor of Cocle in Penonomé. That do not believe it right because the fight is fighting. If they catch they will shoot me to dead, however, you, who are white and friend of the Mayor, no nothing would happen. For this reason I can not accept this situation. "My memories of General Victoriano Lorenzo. Stories Lt. loudly. Colonel Juan José Quiroz Mendoza 1900-1902).

Already in February 1902 the Liberal troops controlled the country again with the exception of Panama City. But at that moment began the betrayal. Liberals and conservatives had come to an agreement under the auspices of the U.S. government, which placed the armistice as a condition for signing treaty of the construction of the canal known as Herran Hay Treaty. In November 1902, Eusebio A. Lucas and Caballero Morales on behalf of the Liberal Party in Panama signed the peace treaty in the American battleship Wisconsin. As they did signed the death warrant of General of the Indians, for whom the war rather than economic interests sharing was about the survival of his people.

For over sixty years, his memory was distorted by the consecutive governments: The reason is obvious. Both liberals and conservatives betrayed the general Victoriano Lorenzo. Eusebio A. Morales, a senior leader of the Liberal Party, who signed the peace treaty in Wisconsin, was responsible for Victoriano trick it out of the mountains and take him to the city of Panama in an alleged meeting to discuss peace and land delivery farmers. Instead he gave him to his conservative party enemies. A council of war drew to invent a hoax charges and sentenced to death Victoriano. The judgemens who cowardly murdered Victoriano was chaired by Esteban Huertas, later declared by both liberals and conservatives as hero of the fatherland. Finally the doctor born in Cartagena, Colombia, which ruled the death of Victoriano Lorenzo for alleged natural causes, was none other than Manuel Amador Guerrero, Panama's first president.

Before being executed on May 15, 1903 General Victoriano Lorenzo said:

"People, hear a public word: you know who says it. Victoriano Lorenzo dies ... I forgive you all ... I die like Jesus died ..." Quoted by Ramon H. Jurado. Desertores. Manfer, Inc. Panama, 1991.

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