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José María Dionisio Melo y Ortiz


11th President of the Republic of the New Granada
In office
April 17, 1854 – December 4, 1854
Preceded by José María Obando
Succeeded by Tomás de Herrera

Born October 9, 1800
Colombia Chaparral, Tolima, Colombia
Died June 1, 1860
Mexico La Trinitaria, Chiapas, Mexico
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Juliana Granados*
Religion Roman Catholic
*Second wife

José María Dionisio Melo y Ortiz (October 9, 1800 – June 1, 1860) was a Colombian general and politician of Pijao ancestry, who fought in the South American wars of independence, and who in 1854 rose to power and held the presidency of Colombia. In August, 1850, artisans demanded protection and the creation of a national workshop supported by the Government. General José María Melo assumed power in 1854 with the support of members of the Sociedad Democrática, a coalition of artisans and liberals who did not think that democracy and dictatorship were incompatible. But after Melo was militarily defeated that same year, soldiers and artisans were severely repressed. (Source: Lucía Sala de Touron, “Democracia en America Latina: liberales, radicales y artesanos a mediados del siglo XIX,” Secuencia 61(2005), 63.) José María Melo also served as general of cavalry in Mexico during the War of the Reform in 1860.


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