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The Panama Government has given thein the right of suffrage, but they have never evinced much of a desire to take a hand in matters political, and are content to till their fields and to carry on their small trading operations. In the revolution of 1900-'02 however, they constituted quite a factor in the warring elements, but it is doubtful if they would have taken a part in it, but for the personality of their Governor and leader, Victoriano Lorenzo, who, moved by a spirit of revenge joined issues with the Liberal forces, was made a general and afterwards assisted greatly in the victories of that side. One of the commodities in which these Indians deal largely is salt, and in securing their support to the revolutionary movement, they were led to believe that if the Liberals were successful, they would be permitted a free trade in it.
About the time the revolution broke out, Victoriano Lorenzo had a large farm and was attending strictly to his own affairs.
He had one annoyance and that was the constant nagging of a petty official. Lorenzo finally gave the latter to understand that if he was troubled any further he would take steps to stop it. The official paying no attention to this warning, Lorenzo abducted him and took him into the mountains. The government hearing of this summary action sent troops to Lorenzo's home whero they committed various sorts of depredations. This coming to the knowledge of Lorenzo, and believing himself an outlaw, he proceeded to revenge himself in Indian style by performing savage atrocities on the prisoners he captured. On one occasion he killed a Spanish priest.
By this time ho had enlisted quite a following and tiring of the outlawed existence which he led, he joined the Liberal forces and carried on a guerrilla warfare. On joining the revolutionists he ceased committing acts outside the pale of civilization, and conducted himself more in accordance with the usages of war. When hostilities ceased, a general amnesty was declared whereby the adherents of the Liberal cause without exception were allowed to
COMPLETO SURTIDO DE MEDI.
AVENIDA CENTRAL, No. 81.
either leave the country, or return to their homes unmo-
He was held a prisoner for some months during which time on one occasion he made his escape only to be recaptured the same day. It is believed by some that the escape was "arranged" in order that an additional charge might be secured against him. In 1903, after the country had become tranquil again, a commission was despatched from Bogota with orders to execute Lorenzo. On May 14, 1903 he was condemned to be shot for committing robberies and assassinations, and performing acts contrary to civilized warfare. Moved probably by a spirit of
fair play, the Governor, foreign consuls and prominent citizens endeavored to secure a mitigation of the sentence, , but the Bogota commission declared they were acting under specific orders to have him executed, and he was accordingly shot in the Plaza de Armas on May 15, 1903.
Sign Treaty of Peace on “Wisconsin”.
In April, 1902, the Archbishop of Bogota issued an encyclical under the authority of the Catholic Church of
Colombia, in which it was stated that in order to show a christian spirit, avoid further bloodshed, and to end the bitter struggle that was ruining the country, the Liberals would
be granted immunity and forgiveness, provided they would lay down their arms and agree to peace. They were also promised equal rights, representation and personal freedom without prejudice to their opinions.
This letter did not have immediate effect in bringing hostilities to a close, but later in the year after an exchange of numerous communications between the Liberal and Government leaders, a satisfactory understanding was arrived at, and on the 21st of November, 1902, a treaty of peace was signed on board of the United States battleship Wisconsin", Capt. Casey Commander, in Panama harbor. In bringing these negotiations to a conclusion, Gen. B. Herrera represented the Liberals, while Gen. Victor M. Salazar, then Governor of Panama, Gen. Alfredo Vasquez Cobo, and Gen. Nicolas Perdomo, the latter being the special envoy from Bogota, represented the side of the Government.
Applied for Annexation.
Under date of November 28th, 1899, before the revolution had broken out on the Isthmus, the Star & Herald printed the following Washington dispatch:
“Panama has applied for annexation, but in view of the fact that Panama is not an independent republic, the authorities deem it advisable not to jeopardize the friendly relations of the Bogota Government with this country, and the application has been filed.”
From the day of discovery until now the Isthmus has only been a landing place and porterage for those that came and went, and who wished most heartily it had been an open sea instead. Captains of ships all the way from the dinky old galleons to the floating palaces of the present day have found it an interposition of Divine Providence, in their opinion uncalled for. Panama hay