The delicacy of independence fell a little on the dispossessed classes of the Creole table, and the freed from the bonds of the colony. Soon, an economic war broke out between the mountain landowners and the coastal bourgeoisie, which gained considerable power by exporting agricultural products. The reins of the state were missing: they were acquired by the Liberal Revolution. It was directed by Eloy Alfaro, who was born one day in June, one day in June he rebelled for the first time, and one day in June, the 5th of 1895, the people of Guayaquil proclaimed him the supreme head of the Republic. .
He was the general of defeat, a nickname given by conservatives for the failed attempts, exiles and prisons suffered. Now he would be the general of victory. The people rose up against Borrero’s government, attacked the barracks, led by liberal youth. They were started by a bunch of grievances, from past governments. “They called the Indian Alfaro, poor country,” moaned the voices of privilege. “…the Montonero Indian and anarchist did not know how to read or write, soon these insolent and barbaric people will attack homes, rape girls and burn the best houses in the city…”, Alfredo Pareja talks about poison in his work La hoguera Barbarian, which we saw in different places and in repeated moments.
On June 18, Alfaro arrived in Guayaquil. The whole city on the streets. “There wasn’t a breath that didn’t cut or a chest that didn’t explode” (Par). “Forgive me, I can’t talk to you” (Alfaro). In Quito they were preparing to receive him. The Archbishop ordered that his pastoral letter be read in all churches, in which he said that the enemies are liberalism and radicalism, the great Babylonian whore, and called for arms. They poured out hatred in the pulpits and in the confessionals, stronger than the outpouring against “Ignacio de la cuchilla,” as Montalvo told President Veintemilla. Religious communities supported the resistance with money. They instilled the usual fear, they scared the Indians. The Catholic Church, an ally of the landowners, fanaticized part of the population. The Liberal government’s reaction was fair, but disproportionate to the reaction of some Liberals.
Now (Alfaro) would be the general of victory. The people rose up against the Borrero government…
Alfaro was visited by many Indians on his trip to Quito. They wanted to know who the “Indian” Alfaro was. The revolution freed the native population from taxes and slave labor, abolished the ominous arrangement that forced laborers to work all their lives to pay off inherited debts, to hand over their wives to their masters, to be paid in paper bills for shopping in the shops of their masters. The liberalization of that workforce benefited the coastal bourgeoisie, as Agustín Cueva claims.
The liberal revolution did not fundamentally transform the economic infrastructure of society; he made a serious mistake by not handing over to the peasants the large estates taken from the Church, but socially he represented enormous progress, he established full freedom of expression, freedom of worship, secularism and democracy in education, the status of women citizens. Forgotten sectors became aware of their role in history. (OR)
Mario Twitchell is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his insightful and thought-provoking writing on a wide range of topics including general and opinion. He currently works as a writer at 247 news agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the industry.