Santiago from cali,
In an interview with one of the most renowned historians of Cali, Nicolás Ramos Gómez, president of the Society for Public Improvements of Cali, gave us a tour of relevant events: since the foundation of Cali, the origin of its name, the passage of Simón Bolívar and the Pan American games.
How did the founding of Santiago de Cali happen?
When Francisco Pizarro was going to conquer Peru, the Inca empire, one of the captains he invited went to Sebastián de Belacazar who was a mayor in Panama, with his own resources he got people to accompany him and went to the conquest of the Peru, there he participated in that conquest, but he aspired to have his own government so he left Peru, he came to found Quito, he followed Guayaquil, he came to Popayán, then he came to found Cali. He wanted to have his own government, he was a man who had already made his own resources since in the conquest of Peru there was wealth in gold, so he created a certain fortune for Sebastián de Belalcazar.
Then Sebastian de Belalcazar went to Spain to present his achievements and the king and this gave him the title of Marshal and also the government of Popayán. He had lawsuits with Jorge Robledo and at the weapons site on the road from La Pintada to Aguadas, he executed Robledo, so that is why they conducted an investigation; Don Sebastián was executed but he appealed to the king, went to defend himself towards Spain but died in Cartagena.
Here were the natives that the Spaniards called “Gorrones”, they put them like that because gorrón, it was because the women mounted wooden logs on the river, shouting “gorrón gorrón”, but in their language it was fish, so the Spaniards said, ah those are the freeloaders ”. The populations of America that had arrived between 15 and 35 thousand years ago, were becoming isolated and were creating their own languages, they exchanged gold, salt, blankets and clay objects, some tribes also fought each other for different reasons.
Then Sebastián de Belacazar arrived in Cali that July 25, and tradition says that it was where the La Merced church is, where to the sound of fanfare and drums and hoisting the banner of Castile, he founded Santiago de Cali, on July 25, feast of the apostle Santiago, that’s why the name is Santiago de Cali, nobody knows why it is Cali, there are many names that nobody knows where they came from, in India there is a rose called Kali, with K, but the origin of the name Cali not known.
On July 25, 1536, Don Sebastián appointed Captain Pedro de Ayala as mayor and Don Antón Redondo as alderman, they created a council and regiment and some say that they sent Juan de Ladrilleros to explore the road to Buenaventura because Belalcazar realized, that to go to Spain you couldn’t go back to find Guayaquil, but the Pacific was near Cali, and you couldn’t travel to Barranquilla either because the trip was very long, at that time it was about a month.
Let’s talk about the time of the Republic and the passage of Simón Bolívar through Cali.
The last time that Simón Bolívar passed through Cali was after the Battle of Bombona, he was from January 2 to 22, 1822 and stayed in the house that today is the archiepiscopal house, which had been built by three heroes of independence for his mother Margarita, the first of those heroes was Captain Miguel Cabal Barona who died in the first battle of our independence, the Battle of Bajo Palacé. The second was his brother Francisco, who was shot by the Spanish in Bogotá in 1816 and the third was his sister Margarita, who was the one who commanded the guerrillas that defeated the last governor of Popayán in the guanábanal, on the road to Palmira.
Is it true that Simón Bolívar’s horse is buried in Cali?
That’s a story by Iván Escobar
Why was the Thousand Day War so counterproductive for the development of the city?
The Thousand Day War was like all the wars that have ravaged Colombia, damaging, because it means the death of youth and destruction of the economy. One of the curious things is that the termination of this war was called the Peace of Wisconsin, because it was signed on an American warship that was in Panama, it was called the Wisconsin, there were two generals, a liberal and a conservative, the conservative the General Alfredo Vásquez Cobo and the liberal Benjamín Herrera, were two Caleños signatories of the Treaty of Wisconsin with which officially ends the civil war in Colombia, which began on August 17, 1899, a conflict that today is known as the war of the Thousand Days, this caused the separation of Panama.
How did the Pan American games take place in Cali?
The city had an economic and social crisis, then Alberto Galindo Herrera appeared one fine day, called me and told me that he needed to speak with me, I was the president of the Valle del Cauca action unit, so we met and he told me about the Pan American games, It seemed to me a good opportunity to give the city a good reason to develop its activity, so we invited him to the meeting of the Valle del Cauca action unit and there it was agreed to set up the appropriate committee to work on the concession of the headquarters for the Pan American games. There one of the great managers was Don Joaquín Lozada and some other members, Alfonso Bonilla Aragón was in the direction, he was the mentality that organized the Pan American games.
Commissions went to get votes from different cities in America. The general president of PASO, General José J. Clark, after receiving the report from the scrutineers, announced the choice of our city. There a party begins in Winnipeg, and a great party in the streets of Cali, it was managed to be awarded the headquarters in competition with Santiago de Chile. The work began to get the city ready for July 20, 1971. It was a total success, it gave the city new dimensions, new concerns and created a mentality for it. Cities need to have objectives, as industries need to have them too, and the Valle del Cauca region needs to strengthen its unity and have a regional objective.