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Colombia - Political Flags - Overview and Index

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Editorial Remark: It must be noted that all the opinions are of the authors and not of FOTW. Our site is non-political and concentrates only on vexillological issues.


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Historical Background

In the 1960's communist revolutionaries in Columbia (FARC) proclaimed the Republics of Marquetalia and Riochiquitos, that is an experiment of comunist-countryman administration in Latin America.
The flag used was probably the FARC flag (red with the name?). But I found now the local flag of Marquetalia:
This is green borderes white. In the centre is a torch white and golden, with flamme yellow and red.
Another city of the territory is named Marulanda, and this is the name of the FARC head, Manuel Marulanda named too "Tiro Fijo" (Fix Shooting). The flag of the city is black, white and green horizontal.
More information?
Jaume Olle , 24 November 1996

About the Communist Revolution and its flag, I'm not aware that they had a flag, but the actual Independent Republics were seven: Marquetalia (in the border between the Departments of Tolima and Huila), Río Chiquito (in the border between the Departments of Cauca and Huila), El Pato (in the Department of Caquetá), Guayabero, El Duda, Alto Ariari (all three of them in the Department of Meta) and Alto Sumapaz (in the border between the Departments of Meta, Cundinamarca and Tolima) Marquetalia being the most important. These existed from 1955 through 1965 but they became known in a Congress debate in 1964, and short afterwards there was a military operation against them. These 7 "Republics" were in an area plenty of mountains and forrest, along with tall hills and stuff, and they were pretty much together (if you have a Colombian map you can see that they are close to each other).
E.R., 19 January 1999

In Colombia there was a split in the Colombian Liberal Party when several members of this party, after the fall of the Dictatorship of Lt. General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla in 1957, returned to the country from exile in 1959. After the fall of the Dictatorship an agreement was reached by the two political dominant forces, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party to switch Presidential terms (and all other major branches of power, but especially the Executive one, at all levels, that is National, State and Local levels included in this agreement).
First, the Benidorm Agreement (signed on July 24, 1956) between the leaders of these two political parties, and then the Declaration of Sitges (July 20, 1957) gave birth to what is known as the Frente Nacional (National Front) a bipartisan rule of the country that was supposed to last 16 years (four consecutive Presidential terms), starting from 1958 and lasting until 1974, where multipartisan elections where supposed to be held. This power sharing agreement ended a time of radical violence amid these two parties (that even went to Civil War many times during the XIXth Century) and also followed a time of relative peace after an amnesty granted by Lt. General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla duirng his tenure, offered to Liberal and Communist armed illegal forces set up in the country in the 1940's and 1950's, a time known as "La Violencia" (The Violence).
However this agreement discarded many political views and left no freedom of determining any other political option, except these two: thus, several political and guerrilla groups emerged as a way of showing discontent at this situation. Political parties such as the MRL (Movimiento Revolucionario Liberal, founded by Alfonso López Michelsen in 1959) and the ANAPO (Alianza Nacional Popular, People's National Alliance, founded by Lt. General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla in 1961) appear. Also guerrilla groups such as the FARC (founded in 1964), the ELN (founded in 1965), and the EPL (founded in 1967) emerged as a result of this. At first the MRL was supported by the Colombian Communist Party but later on it became less radical.
Then in 1974, where multiparty elections where supposed to be held, an alleged fraud took place "granting" the Conservative Party its last Presidential term ending the Frente Nacional at the end of this Presidential term (1978). As a result of this elections, a radical group within the ANAPO (who was the party that "felt" it lost the Presidency to this fraud) formed the M-19 , so that is why this group based its flag on that of the ANAPO. The MRL lasted from 1959 until 1966, achieving several seats in Congress and also some victories on the State and Local level, when it returned to the Colombian Liberal Party mainstream in an agreement to accept several changes propoesd by the MRL dissident leader. The ANAPO lasted more than three decades, gaining importance on the State and Local level as well, but it ceased to exist in 1998. Many of its members are now part of the PDI (Polo Democrático Independiente), which at the same time fused itself with the political movement AD (Alternativa Democrática, Democratic Alternative), to comply with the rules of the 2006 elections in order to obtain the minimum number of votes to be recognized as a party by Colombia's Electoral ruling body, the Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil.
E.R., 16 July 2007


Overview

Next Sunday, March 12, 2006, there will be general elections for Congress. There is a website by the country's electoral authority where they show an example of a voting sheet at www.registraduria.gov.co. This image includes all current political parties that have candidates for Congress (both Senat and House of Representatives). There you will find logos of each political party/movement.
E.R., 9 March 2006

The following list of Political Parties is based on the last elections results of 2006 and thus states the official list of legal political parties in Colombia (based on the Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil and the Consejo nacional Electoral, through Resolution No. 1057 of July 13, 2006). It is also worth mentioning that all other movements that call themselves parties are not since they did not achieve the minimun number of votes to either have a candidate take office on any given government post or the minimum number of votes to be recognized as a party by the new Colombian law.
The list (in no particular order of importance or foundation date) with official websites (when available):  
- Movimiento MIRA (Movimiento Independiente de Renovación Absoluta)   www.webmira.com.
- Movimiento ALAS-Equipo Colombia www.equipocolombia.org.
- Movimiento Alianza Social Indígena (Indigenous Social Alliance Movement)
- Movimiento Apertura Liberal www.aperturaliberal.com.
- Movimiento AICO (Autoridades Indígenas de Colombia).
- Movimiento Colombia Viva www.movimientocolombiaviva.org.
- Movimiento Político Afrounincca.
- Partido Cambio Radical Colombiano partidocambioradical.org.
- Partido Colombia Democrática www.colombiademocratica.com.
- Partido Conservador Colombiano.
- Partido Convergencia Ciudadana www.convergencia.org.co.
- Partido Liberal Colombiano.
- Partido Opción Centro.
- Partido Social de Unidad Nacional www.partidodelau.com.
- Polo Democrático Independiente.
E.R., 16 October 2006

The Law which regulates the actions of Political Parties is called Ley 974 of July 22, 2005, known as Ley de Bancadas (Bench Law, referring to the seat or bench each party occupy in Congress).
Some of the most important rulings are:
- Seats in Congress belong to Parties, not Individuals (thus if a Congressman retires from his party, he cannot affiliate his candidacy/term with another party)
- A Congressman cannot vote against the majority of the Party's decision (unless citing special motives, such as conscious objection, religious, moral or welfare issues.
- Members from a political movement that lost its legal representation for not having enough votes, cannot subscribe their names in a legal represented party that obtained the valid number of votes to be recognized as a party.
- Parties and movements that lost its legal representation due to low number of votes can merge with other parties and abide by the current law.
E.R., 25 December 2006

Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil and the Consejo nacional Electoral, through Resolution No. 1050 of July 10, 2006, determines the proceedings to terminate all other political movements and parties that did not achieve the minimun number of votes.
E.R., 15 July 2007

For a political party to be established in Colombia, among other requirements, there needs to be a minimum of 100,000 signatures to establish the party, and obtain at least one seat in any of the elections it participates.
E.R., 4 November 2007

The Colombian government issued Decree No. 53, of January 15, 2008, estabilshing the rules for new political parties. It raises the top from 2% to 5% of the electoral votes casted for any political party to gain political and legal status. It also sanctions political organizations that endorse and/or support illegal armed groups and allows political candidates in collegiate bodies to switn only once from the party they got elected from to another party.
E.R., 23 January 2008

The current list of Colombian Political Parties (as of November 2009) is in the Registraduría. The only change being made is that the Movimiento Político Afrounincca has split into two, forming the MOVIMIENTO NACIONAL AFROCOLOMBIANO "AFRO" ( www.movimientoafro.com) and the MOVIMIENTO ALIANZA SOCIAL AFROCOLOMBIANA "ASA".
Also, The political movement called Convergencia Ciudadana has changed its name to Partido de Integración Nacional (National Integraction Party, PIN in Spanish) since November 9, 2009.  
Thus the list is currently composed of 16 officially recognized political parties.
E.R., 24 November 2009

I just found the Tarjetón Electoral (Ballot) for the 2006 Presidential elections in Colombia,
Of the seven political parties featured in this ballot, there are four which are not presented on FOTW, which are:
- Movimiento de Reconstrucción Nacional
- Movimiento Político Comunal y Comunitario
-  Movimiento Reconstrucción Democrática Nacional
- Primero Colombia
E.R., 22 February 2010

On February 15, I was searching for information on the Policital Parties and Movements that are valid for the upcoming 2010 Presidential (May 30), Legislative (March 14) and Andean (March 14) (for the Andean Parliament) elections in Colombia, and I came across a link, where the Registraduría shows the valid Tarjeta Electoral (Ballot) to be issued for the ellections.  
The ballots are provisional, but they pretty much are the definite versions as to whether a political party or movement can participate.
On February 18 RCN news channel shows on video news that out of the total political parties and movements allowed to participate, there are six parties that violate the current legislation for displaying the Colombian flag on their logos, something which cannot be done.
These parties are:
- PIN (Partido de Integración Nacional) official website (previously known as Partido Convergencia Ciudadana) (official website: www.partidopin.org)
- Movimiento Compromiso Ciudadano por Colombia (official website at: www.sergiofajardo.com)
- Partido Conservador Colombiano
- Movimiento Popular Unido ( logo seen in this 2006 elections article)
- Asociación Misión Colombia y la Voz de la Consciencia
Also on the news are reported parties that use the face or photograph of a person, something that again, is illegal in Colombia.
These parties are:
- CORMANDELA (Corporación Nelson Mandela)
- FUNDEVIA (Fundación Deportiva Viáfara)
- AKUSOMAR (Asociación Kuagro Social Los Marlins)
- CANOAS (Comunidad Afrocolombiana y Negritudes Organización para el Avance Sociocultural)
- FISA (Fundación Integración Social Afrocolombiana)
And finally another violation is the use of symbols from another party, which is the case of Unidad Liberal (official website at: www.unidadliberalcolombia.com), which uses the symbols of the Partido Liberal Colombiano.
The total list of political parties and movements is: Senate: 14 parties total. Not featured on FOTW are:
- ASA (Alianza Social Afrocolombiana) (official website at: www.movimientopoliticoasa.com.co)
- PACTO (Partido Cristiano de Transformación y Orden) (official website at: www.pactonacion.org )
- Compromiso Ciudadano por Colombia (official website at: www.sergiofajardo.com )
Chamber of Representatives: 11 parties total.
It is worth noticing that in Colombia indigenous communities and african-american communities have a special circunscription, that is, the number of votes for these movements is less than traditional parties, and also the number of votes to be eligible is far less than traditional candidates' parties. There's a total of five political parties of the indigenous circunscription (all featured on FOTW), however there are a total of 59 political movements of the african-american communities, none of them featured on FOTW.
Sources: www.canalrcn.com and www.terra.com.co>.
E.R., 22 February 2010


List of Political Parties, Movements and Organizations represented in FOTW


Colombia 2010 Presidential election ballot

On April 8th, the 2010 Presidential election ballot was released to the public with the respective numbers and location of the party's candidate. The picture is here.

The political parties are:
- Alianza Social Afrocolombiana "ASA" (not featured on FOTW, official website and logo),
- Movimiento La Voz de la Consciencia (not featured on FOTW, official website and logo),
- Partido Liberal Colombiano,
- Partido Cambio Radical (not featured on FOTW, official website: and logo),
- Polo Democrático Alternativo,
- Movimiento Apertura Liberal,
- Partido Conservador Colombiano,
- Partido Verde,
- Partido Social de Unidad Nacional (not featured on FOTW, official website).

Source: Article, from the Colombian Registry is here: http://www.registraduria.gov.co/Informacion/com_2010_114.htm

There's also a full list of the current valid 16 political parties and the 45 political parties that lost their representation (personería jurídica, in Spanish): http://www.cne.gov.co/partidos/vigentes.htm
Esteban Rivera, 24 April  2010

Since yesterday the candidate that obtained the majority of votes did not reach the 50% + 1 vote required to win the Presidency of the country, a runoff will take place on June 20, 2010. The new ballot is available here: http://www.eltiempo.com/elecciones2010/tarjeton-para-la-segunda-vuelta-presidencial_7733190-1
Esteban Rivera, 31 May  2010


Other Leftist Guerrilla Groups with unknown symbols

There are or were leftist guerrilla groups that had no symbols or whose symbols are unknown:
- Movimiento Jaime Bateman Cayón (Jaime Bateman Cayon Movement, usually abbreviated as JBC, or Frente Jaime Bateman Cayón - Jaime Bateman Front).
This movement takes its name from former M-19 Commander Jaime Bateman Cayón, alias 'Pablo', a.k.a. 'El Flaco' (The skinny one). It was created in 1992 as an offshot group of the M-19 after the M-19 were in negotiations to demobilize as they in fact did on March 9, 1990. The JBC had its main operation area in the Departments of Cauca and Valle.
Most of its members merged into the Eln in 1997, and by 1999 it is considered that the remnant elements of this group ceased its armed activities basically due to the action of the Armed Forces and their merger with other groups
The flag of this group is unknown. However it its very likely that they used the ANAPO flag as this was the main core of members of the M-19 movement, although some ANAPO members were part of the Farc guerrilla as well.
Sources: English wikipedia, Spanish wikipedia, www.mediosparalapaz.org.
- Frente Francisco Garnica (FFG, Francisco Garnica Front):
This armed illegal group took the name from Francisco Garnica, a communist youth leader, member of the JUCO (Juventud Comunist, Communist Youth), which in part was an organization within the Partido Comunista Colombiano. Later he was a member of the Partido Comunista - Marxista Leninista. In 1968 The PC-ML ordered him to set up a fraction of the already existing armed illegal movement Epl, in the Municipality of San Juan Bautista de Guacarí in the Department of Valle, but he and other two members of the would-be group were arrested. Later a fraction of the Epl took the name of Francisco Garnica and afterwards this fraction, split from the Epl, when the core of the Epl laid down its weapons in February 1991.
The Frente Francisco Garnica became an independent entity in mid 1993 and it operated mainly in the southern part of the Department of Bolivar. The Frente Francisco Garnica laid down its weapons on June 30, 1994 through a peace process and an agreement with the national government.
No flag is known of this armed illegal group.
Sources: Spanish wikipedia www.mediosparalapaz.org.
- Ejército Revolucionario Guevarista (Guevarist Revolutionary Army, Erg) was a guerrilla group operating in Colombia. It was formed in 1992 as an offshoot of the Eln. It was named after and inspired by the Argentine revolutionary Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, known as 'Ché Guevara'. It operated in the Departments of Risaralda, Antioquia and Chocó.
This group laid down its arms on August 25, 2008 through a peace process observed by the OAS and an agreement with the national government.
The flag of this group is the same color scheme of the Eln flag and charged plus its logo in the middle. I cannot seem to find an image of the logo.
Sources: English wikipedia, www.mediosparalapaz.org, www.mapp-oea.org, www.terra.com.co, www.elcolombiano.com.
- Milicias de Medellín (Medellin Militia)
This name Refers to three armed factions:
1) Milicias Populares del Pueblo y para el Pueblo (Popular Militia of the People and for the People, MPP, also known as MPPP)
2) Milicias Independientes del Valle de Aburrá (Aburra Valley Independentist Militia)
3) Milicias Metropolitanas de la Ciudad de Medellín (Metropolitan Militia of the City of Medellin).
All of the above emerged around 1988 and operated in the Aburra Valley but mainly in the city of Medellin, very similar as the armed groups in the Brazilian favelas.
All of them laid down their weapons May 26, 1998 through a peace process and an agreement with the national and local government.   Most of their members were at some point on and off members part of the armed group of gangs and hitmen of the Medellin Drug Cartel (see also Movimiento Civismo en Marcha).
It is important to mention that the concept of Militia in the Colombian armed conflict is basically that of urban warfare, as the so called "revolutionary groups" mostly come from the rural areas, so they have tried to set up urban fronts to broaden their activities. The first militia or urban fronts were set up back in the late 1960's as logistics and support commissions for the rural fronts of the guerrilla, but this model has been replicated identically by all the other main actors in the conflict, that is, drug traffickers and paramilitaries mainly.
Other well known militias are: Comandos Armados del Pueblo (also Comandos Armados Populares, Cap, in English Armed People's Commands), which emerged in the 20th of July neighborhood in Medellin in the mid 1990's composed of members of the Eln and the MPP. Also in 1994 there was a short-lived alliance between the Farc and the Eln which saw the "birth" of the Bloque Popular Miliciano (People Militia Bloc).
No flags reported of these groups. However an armband of the first group, the Mpp is known to be a white rectangular piece of cloth, with a circle in the middle in a black fringe with the black bold capital letters MPP centered. The Cap also used an armband being a red/green with the white bold capital letters CAP centered.
Sources: www.mediosparalapaz.org, www.nodo50.org.
- Mir-Coar (Movimiento Independiente Revolucionario - Comandos Armados, Independent Revolutionary Movement - Armed Commands):
This group emerged in the mid 1990's and acted basically in Medellin. They laid down their weapons on July 29, 1998 through a peace process and an agreement with the local government.
- Frente Ricardo Franco or Comando Ricardo Franco - Frente Sur (Ricardo Franco Front, also known as Ricardo Franco Command - Southern Front):
This group was established in the mid 1980's and took its name from a Farc leader, known by the alias of Ricardo Franco. It is a dissidence of the Farc, as most of its members were Farc members. They operated mainly in the Departments of Cauca and Valle.
Some of the members of the Ricardo Franco Front began working for the Cali Drug Cartel, some others demobilized, and others went to other armed groups. After the capture of its top leader José Fedor Rey Álvarez, alias 'Javier Delgado', in 1995, the group basically ceased to exist.
Sources: www.mediosparalapaz.org, English wikipedia, Spanish wikipedia.
- Jega (Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Ayala, also known as Movimiento Dignidad por Colombia - Dignity for Colombia):
The Jega group started first as Movimiento Dignidad por Colombia with its own logos and flags. Then it evolved into the Jega in 1996, after the initials of politician Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Ayala (1903-1948). This politician who was first member of the Liberal Party is the inspiration of many revolutionary movements, as he himself was a dissident of the establishment and set up his own political party based on populist beliefs in a time when there was a constant dispute bettwen the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party which in fact led to several Civil Wars in the 19th century. His assassination on July 9, 1948 marked the era of the so called "La Violencia", a period of sectarian violence between members of these two main political parties, which evolved in armed killing squads throughout the country, which were the base in turn, for the guerrilla movements in the late 1950's and mid 1960's.
Some of its members were part of the Medellin Drug Cartel.
The movement ceased after most of its members were captured and some of them were pardoned and left for Cuba for the exchange of a prisoner, the brother of former Colombian President César Gaviria Trujillo (in office between 1990-1994).
Source: www.mediosparalapaz.org.
E.R., 21 July 2009