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A Latina Rebel faces the Firing Squad 1817

As the firing squad readied their guns, one woman stood defiantly among the eight rebels kneeling in the central plaza of Bogota, Colombia, calmly gazing at death.  Policarpa Salavarrieta was one of the revolutionary leaders in Colombia’s wars of independence against Spain. La Pola, as she was known, worked with her brothers to organize a highly effective underground resistance movement.  She gathered intelligence to aid the rebel fighters, and recruited other Colombians to the movement.  Her activities were discovered by the Spanish colonists, and La Pola was executed on November 14, 1817. She refused to kneel in front of the firing squad, and as she stood, her last words reportedly were, “I have more than enough courage to suffer this death and a thousand more. Do not forget my example.” In commemoration of her heroism, November 17 is celebrated in Colombia as the “Day of the Colombian Woman”.

Bernardo O’Higgins, Freedom Fighter

On February 8, 1817, Jose de San Martin, Bernardo O’Higgins, and their army completed their heroic twenty-one day journey across the Andes Mountains from Argentina to Chile.  The freedom-fighters were determined to liberate Chile from royalist Spanish rule.  Casualties were terribly high; one-third of the 4,000 men that Martin commanded perished during the journey.

El 8 de febrero de 1817, José de San Martín, Bernardo O’Higgins y su ejército completó su heroico viaje veintiún días a través de la Cordillera de los Andes desde Argentina a Chile. Los combatientes de la libertad-estaban decididos a liberar a Chile del dominio español monárquico. Las bajas fueron terriblemente alto, un tercio de los 4.000 hombres que Martín mandó perecieron durante el viaje.