Many scholars consider that the modern history of Colombia represents an uninterrupted cycle of violence and social conflict from the Spanish conquest to the present day. In 1499, the arrival of Spanish conquistadores brutally dismantled and pillaged the pre-Columbian regional assets, based on the coexistence of several chiefdoms such as the San Agustín, Tumaco, Tierradentro, Quimbaya, Zenú, Pastos, Quillacingas, Tairona, and Muisca. The colonial period was characterized by an extremely violent form of extractive economy which permitted the Spanish crown to reward its officers with grants of land and enslaved natives. Thousands of indigenous people were obliged to live and work in atrocious conditions, suffering from the arbitrary exercise of power by their masters.

Between 1781 and 1819, Simón Bolívar (1783–1830) led a military campaign that ...

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