Rafael Urdaneta

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Urdaneta and the second or maternal family name is Faría.
Rafael José Urdaneta y Faría
Rafael urdaneta.jpg
1897 painting by Martín Tovar y Tovar.
3rd President of Colombia
In office
5 September 1830 – 30 April 1831
Preceded by Simón Bolívar y Palacios
Succeeded by Francisco de Paula Santander y Omaña
3rd Secretary of War and Navy of Colombia
In office
3 March 1828 (1828-03-03) – 21 April 1830 (1830-04-21)
President Simón Bolívar y Palacios
Preceded by Carlos Soublette y Jerez
Succeeded by Pedro Alcántara Herrán Martínez
Personal details
Born (1788-10-24)24 October 1788
Maracaibo, Venezuela, New Granada
Died 23 August 1845(1845-08-23) (aged 56)
Paris, France
Spouse(s) Dolores Vargas Paris (1822—1845)
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Allegiance  Gran Colombia
Service/branch Army of Colombia
Years of service 1810—1832
Rank General

Rafael José Urdaneta y Faría (24 October 1788 — 23 August 1845) was a Neogranadine General who fought for independence during the Spanish American wars of independence.[1]

Military career[edit]

Right after the events of 10 July 1810, Urdaneta decides to join the revolutionary army. He is enlisted as lieutenant of the battalion “Patriotas de Cundinamarca”.[1]

After the establishment of the Caracas' Junta, Urdaneta joined the army in the fight against royalist. In 1821, after years of service to the patriotic cause, he became one of General Simón Bolívar's closest collaborators and was promoted to the rank of General in the Republican Army in 1821.[1]

Urdaneta served as Chief of Army Staff and as Minister of War and Navy.


In 1830, the rising animosity between Neogranadines and Venezuelans came to a boiling point. At the time, the Venezuelan battalion Callao, loyal to General Bolívar, was stationed in Bogotá. Another battalion, loyal to General Francisco de Paula Santander, and also stationed in the same city, persuaded the Government to relocate Callao to the city of Tunja. This action provoked an upraise in the civilian population from Venezuela who lived in Bogotá, and triggered a confrontation between both battalions.[1]

The Callao battalion defeated the Neogranadine battalion and President Joaquín Mosquera y Arboleda and Vice President Domingo Caycedo y Sanz de Santamaría fled from the capital. On 5 September 1830, General Urdaneta took control of the presidency under the title of "Provisional Chief of the Government of the Republic of Colombia". It was the hope of General Urdaneta and his allies to persuade Bolívar, who had resigned in May of that year, to return to the capital and once gain take over as president.[1]

When it became clear that Bolívar would not return to the capital, and in an effort to restore peace and order, General Urdaneta ordered Congress to convene on 15 June 1831, in the city of Villa de Leiva.[1]

The Neogranadine Generals expressed their displeasure against General Urdaneta, and military actions erupted throughout the country. Generals José María Obando del Campo and José Hilario López Valdéz took control of the southern states and General José Salvador Córdova Muñoz of the northern states. On 14 April 1831, the advancing armies proclaimed Caycedo as the legitimate head of the executive, and requested General Urdaneta to enter into peace negotiations. General Urdaneta accepted, and met with the Neogranadine generals in the town of Apulo. On 28 April both parties signed the Treaty of Apulo, by which peace was secured and General Urdaneta relinquished power.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Urdaneta was born in the province of Maracaibo in the Captaincy General of Venezuela to an elite family of Spanish descent on 24 October 1788. He began his elementary education in Maracaibo and then his secondary education in Caracas. Later he traveled to Bogotá to attend university.[1] Prior to the independence war he was a student of Latin and philosophy, and a paid officer in the viceregal troops in Bogotá.

In 1845 he was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Venezuela to Spain, but he died in Paris, France, on 23 August of complications from kidney stones, and before ever reaching Spain.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Arizmendi Posada, Ignacio (1983). Gobernantes Colombianos, 1819-1980 (2nd ed.). Bogotá: Italgraf. 

See also[edit]