By Robert A. Karl
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Extra resources for Forgotten Peace: Reform, Violence, and the Making of Contemporary Colombia
54 This self-reflection would fundamentally orient Lleras’s approach to democracy and violence after his eventual return to politics. In the meantime, his earlier political career took on a different valence. What had been a liability in 1946 evolved by 1956 into an asset. Their options for political action increasingly constrained, Lleras’s fellow Liberals now saw virtue in his commitment to dealing with the Conservatives. At a March 1956 political convention, Liberals selected Lleras as the party’s sole leader.
And even in the global calamity that followed, Alberto Lleras remained fixed on the possibilities of peace. In early 1945, he embarked on the most frenetic months of his overseas career. ” The February conference was in many regards a rehearsal for the founding meeting of the United Nations, scheduled for San Francisco just weeks later. Indeed, for Lleras—head of the Colombian delegation—plans for the United Nations overshadowed the Mexico City proceedings. N. Charter that privileged “pacific settlement of local disputes through .
The 1946 election left the Liberal Party in disarray, leading many notables to join Lleras in exile. 37 Lleras’s urban myopia was thus of a piece with that of the país político. Outside of Bogotá’s gaze, the 1946 election had unleashed energies quite contrary to those acclaimed by Lleras before his departure. Across Andean Colombia, provincial Conservatives seized on their party’s resumption of power to settle scores with local Liberals. The highest concentration of these clashes erupted in Messenger of a New Colombia 25 the highlands that stretch northeast from Bogotá some three hundred miles to the Venezuelan border, an area where Conservatives had been subjected to similar treatment by jubilant Liberals at the end of the Conservative hegemony in 1930.