Trolley circling Catedral (San Felipe) about 1915.
The West Indians were the only group of Christians visible around the city of Panama in those turbulent days of 1902. They, in just the past two years, had seen a devastating war, a sight that would have impacted any human soul frequenting that city. Throughout the political conflicts they had continued their simple lifestyle, as they waited patiently for the employment they, with all confidence, knew would soon begin. Continue reading
The USS Wisconsin about 1901.
“The final settlement of the revolutionary disturbance was largely due to his efforts,” wrote Rear Admiral Henry Glass approvingly in his report lauding the “diplomatic services” of his predecessor Rear Admiral Silas Casey’s handling of the “Panama Crisis.” Continue reading
The deal between the so-called Liberales and the Conservadores, who had been sworn enemies of people of the lower caste, was consummated to save face. For them the war and the trail of hatred that it left would, with pats on the back and tears quickly wiped away, wash clean all the blood spilled in the Thousand Days War. Continue reading
The Liberal forces now joined the Indian army fighting in total rebellion. Victorious in battle their insignia and battle cry was “Land and Liberty!” Their success was such that they pushed the war into the area of the railroad and the cherished Panama City of the colonial minded Conservative Army. Continue reading
Skirmishes continued to flare up between Lorenzo’s guerrillas of La Negrita in Coclé
and the garrisoned troops of the Conservador leaning central government of the Colombian Army. The rag-tag army of Indian peasant patriots forced into a disciplined guerrilla unit fought intensely as no other group fought. Throughout the long year of 1900 the fighting continued in the region around Coclé Province. Now armed, the once community leader “caudillo
,” Victoriano Lorenzo, was now in charge of battling against a trained military and he organized continual nighttime assaults on the government troops. Continue reading
Victoriano Lorenzo, Ngobe Indian leader.
The tragedy of the unavoidable confrontation and resulting homicide weighed heavily on the mind of a now imprisoned community leader. Placed in chains, he was paraded through the town before his now saddened and suddenly abandoned Indian community.
They watched as their dismayed leader was marched through their midst, saddened over events that were inevitable in their lives. To them he was one of their shining lights, a bright star of intelligence, brilliance and bravery, a man-child destined for greater things than what was occurring to him then. Continue reading