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Republican Period

Rafael Núñez governs Colombia (1880 - 1894)

History - Cartagena de Indias - Rafael NúñezOne of the most outstanding statesmen in Colombia in the XIXth century was Dr. Rafael Núñez, a cartagenero that would show the nation the path towards political, social and economic stability.

Son of Francisco Núñez García and Dolores Moledo García, was born on September 28th of 1825 in Cartagena de indias when it was recently getting used to its new condition of Sovereign State and independent from Spain.

His career would be brilliant, always at the service of his fellow countrymen, had charges as judge in Panama, Secretary of State, Governor of Cartagena de Indias, Representative at the Congress, Vice president of the Congress, Government Secretary during the period of the General José María Obando, Secretary of war and Marine with Manuel María Mallarino, deputy, senator, Secretary of the Public Treasure, among others.

He attended the Convención de Rionegro, for the creation of the Constitution in 1863, which would implement the federal regime in Colombia, with which Nuñez would not agree for he thought it was not adequate for the country.

The next year he establishes as Consul in Liverpool, he would return in 1875 to run for President but would loose against Aquileo Parra. Nevertheless he is elected president in 1878 and starts the unification of the country under the motto "Regeneration or Catastrophe", being reelected in 1180 and 1884.

During this period the total transformation of the nation is developed under the Constitution of 1886, its main impeller. Eventhough there are some internal wars, violence and battles among political parties, the Carta Magna flourishes and is established. In 1886 Nuñez is reelected for president and works in the economy.

He founded the Banco Nacional (later would become Banco de La República) and replaced the gold coins for paper currency, he would renew the national economic system that was in arrears. He signed Concordat with the Vatican which is still effective, and then he would resign to leave the First Magistrature to the then Vice president Carlos Holguín.

He would come back to his house at El Cabrero in Cartagena de Indias in 1888, in 1893 he would be reelected President for the last time, but died suddenly in September 18th of 1894 before assuming the mandate.

Núñez was one of the most illustrious Cartageneros in the country, his legacy still lasts, more than a century after he assumed power for the first time.



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