The Consequences of the National Front Of Colombia were social (appeasement of political violence, beginning of guerrilla forces), politics (reformism and populism) and economic (growth of inflation).
The National Front (1958-1974) was a period in the history of Colombia in which the two main political parties of the country, the liberal party and the Conservative party, reached a coalition agreement, in which they would alternately govern a president of Each party for four four-year constitutional periods.
This agreement between parties is known as a coalition or political alliance, of which, in the political history of Colombia have occurred on a constant basis, so excluding the period after the National Front, Colombia has been governed for 45 years by some Variant of bipartisan coalition.
The National Front emerged as a solution to disputes between the two main parties in Colombia (Conservatives and Liberals), which were stimulated since 1948 with the assassination of liberal leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, which led to physical confrontations between the parties and led to The 10-hour protest known as The Bogotazo .
Later, the conservative Laureano Gómez was elected president, but due to his authoritarian position, the conservative party was divided internally and the liberals protested against him, which ended in a coup, in which the general Gustavo Rojas Pinilla assumed the presidency.
The government of Gustavo Rojas Pinilla had to deal with the inequalities that lived in the field and with the armed peasants, reason why in 1955 ordered a military offensive against them, initiating the confrontation known like War of Villarica that would cause the rejection of the Liberal and conservative parties.
In 1957, the Liberal and Conservative parties, with Alberto Lleras Camargo and Laureano Gómez as their representatives respectively, agreed to the coalition called the Frente Nacional for 16 years (four four-year terms).
The first president of the National Front was the liberal Alberto Lleras Camargo (1958-1962), then the conservative Guillermo León Valencia (1962-1966), followed by the liberal Carlos Lleras Restrepo (1966-1970) and culminated with the conservative Misael Pastrana Borrero (1970-1974).
Consequences of the Colombian National Front
1- Appealing bipartisan violence
Although, during and after the National Front, many of the economic problems that the country was facing before the establishment of the coalition continued; This measure managed to end the violence between the two main parties in Colombia, which had had its highest point during"El Bogotazo."
After the development of the National Front, many of the liberal guerrillas were demobilized, which represented a considerable reduction of bipartisan violence.
Similarly, at the end of the front, article 120 was enacted in the constitution, which contemplated the ministerial participation of the defeated party in the presidential elections.
2- Emergence of new guerrilla groups
Although the National Front managed to do away with some of the liberal guerrillas that had generated violence between the parties, the country continued to experience discontent, due to the persistence of social, economic and political problems.
In addition the adoption of new political ideals like the communism, led to the creation of new guerrillas and armed groups.
During the government of the conservative Guillermo Leon Valencia, a project was carried out in which it was considered that the armed forces should concentrate on fighting against communism, which he called the internal enemy, rather than preparing for possible foreign aggression.
In this way it was possible to end the bandit leaders, thus moving to the fight against rural delinquency and against the"independent republics".
After the bombing of Marquetalia, denounced as an independent republic where they were settled liberals and communists, the creation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was carried out.
In addition, with the student struggles and inspiration of the Cuban Revolution, a movement of Castro ideology emerged known as the National Liberation Army (ELN) and, as a result of an internal breakdown of the communist party, the Popular Liberation Army (EPL) .
In turn, during the government of Carlos Lleras Restrepo emerges the 19 April Movement (M-19).
3- The economic crisis
By 1965 the economic crisis in Colombia did not seem to improve, and in turn the deterioration of Exchange policy Was foreseeable, which made it difficult to obtain external credits, necessary to keep the public sector operating.
For this reason, the Minister of Finance requests assistance from foreign agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank, but this aid was conditioned by adjustment measures, including a new massive devaluation.
On September 2, measures taken in economic matters include devaluation.
The consequences of these economic measures caused a number of problems. Devaluation increased inflationary pressures, which reduced the quality of life of wage earners.
In addition, workers from various areas and students went on strike and civic strikes intensified as a form of political protest.
4- Reformism as a public instrument
In the period of Alberto Lleras Camargo arises the initiative of the agrarian reform. This was born as an ideological political response by the National Front to a series of challenges that faced.
Among these challenges was to improve the opposition they had to the control of peasant communities (mainly by the communist party), leftist groups and especially the MLR.
Secondly, the National Front needed credibility in its capacity to act for justice and social change.
Added to the probable inspiration of the Cuban Revolution, which made the idea of promoting controlled social change in the agricultural sector attractive.
After prolonged sessions, with a great amount of proposals offered, an agrarian reform was approved in 1960 that covered a great part of the disputed interests, but that distorted the reform like instrument.
This made it seem harmless and, although the structure of rural property was not transformed, the National Front obtained the desired political-ideological impact.
5- Urban reform
The initiative to carry out an urban reform had already had antecedents on the part of the MLR, who had proposed a"Law of ceiling", that facilitated the construction and acquisition of houses to the popular sectors.
Later, the urban reform initiative would be taken by the sectors similar to the National Front, proposing a more radical project, which would make tenants owners and punish owners of"fattening lots"(having properties to sell them more expensive in the future).
But the initiative is not taken seriously until it is adopted by the government of Carlos Lleras Restrepo, with politically more feasible and less radical proposals.
Thus, the political landscape was conducive to take into account a bill not necessarily easy to carry out.
In addition, a kind of contrary proposal was added, where it was alleged that private property was necessary for solving the problem of popular housing.
No proposal was taken into account by Congress, and even after the government's insistence, the agrarian reform proposal came to an end.
It was evident that the National Front's insistence that urban reform be taken into account resulted in a strategy, similar to agrarian reform, to demonstrate the commitment to social change on the part of bipartisanship.
6- Adoption of populist policies
While the bipartisan coalition continued its period of government, the opposition National People's Alliance (ANAPO) party had gained considerable popular, who had a series of revolutionary proposals.
In this way, the government of Misael Pastrana Borrero, the last president of the National Front, adopted a series of populist policies, with which it tried to neutralize the populist policies of the opposition parties, although the social change of which it was spoken always seemed distant due To the way of governing Pastrana Borrero.
Some of the populist policies proposed by the government were:
- The plan of the"popular car".
- The political-ideological use of conflicts between some sectors and the government.
- The official visit of Salvador Allende, president of Chile, who had awakened the enthusiasm to advance a socialist revolution in a democratic institutional context.
7- Considerable increase in inflation
Conservative President Misael Pastrana Borrero chose the construction sector as the"leading sector".
Therefore, the destination administration investment in construction projects as an engine of economic growth, generating sources of employment, increased income and increased demand for products of domestic production.
In addition, Misael Pastrana encouraged private investment in the leading sector (construction) through the establishment of the Units of Constant Purchasing Power (UPAC), a system through which accrued interest, and adjusted with inflation.
The UPA inflation adjustment system was extended to different elements of the economy, such as life insurance, wages and prices.
The combination of the UPAC, with a huge investment in construction, led to an over-stimulation of the economy and fueled inflation, reaching 27% in 1974.
- National Front (Colombia). (2016, October 16).. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org.
- National Front (Colombia). (2017, June 13). Recovered from es.wikipedia.org.
- Political coalition. (2017, April 5). Recovered from es.wikipedia.org.
- Bogotazo. (2017, May 30). Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org.
- Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces. (2017, June 13 Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org.
- History of Colombia. Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress. Date of consultation: 09:20, June 16, 2017 from mothereathtravel.com.