Jose Maria Melo
Jose Maria Dionisio Melo y Ortiz was a Colombian general and politician of Pijao ancestry, who fought in the South American wars of independence, and who in 1854 rose to power and held the presidency of Colombia. In August, 1850, artisans demanded protection and the creation of a national workshop supported by the Government. General Jose Maria Melo assumed power in 1854 with the support of members of the Sociedad Democratica, a coalition of artisans and liberals who did not think that democracy and dictatorship were incompatible. But after Melo was militarily defeated that same year, soldiers and artisans were severely repressed. (Source: Lucia Sala de Touron, Democracia en America Latina: liberales, radicales y artesanos a mediados del siglo XIX, Secuencia 61(2005), 63.)
Jose Maria Melo also served as general of cavalry in Mexico during the War of the Reform in 1860.
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