Pedro Justo Berrío

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Pedro Justo Berrío Rojas
Berrío, Pedro Justo.jpg
Governor of Antioquia
In office
Personal details
Born (1827-05-28)May 28, 1827[1]
Santa Rosa de Osos, Antioquia, Gran Colombia
Died February 14, 1875(1875-02-14) (aged 47)[2]
Nationality Colombian
Political party Conservative[3]
Spouse(s) Estefanía Díaz

Pedro Justo Berrío was a Colombian lawyer, soldier, and politician. He held several legislative positions throughout his life, including governor of Anitioquia from 1864 to 1873.[3] He was born in the municipality of Santa Rosa de Osos of Antioquia Province (of Gran Colombia) in 1827, and died in the city of Medellín, the capital of the Sovereign State of Antioquia in 1875.[4]

Several places in Antioquia are named after him, including Berrío Park, a plaza in the center of Medellín,[5] Puerto Berrío, and the Salesian Pedro Justo Berrio School.

Early life[edit]

He was the son of Lorenzo Berrio Hernández, a trader and educator in Santa Rosa de Osos, and Juliana Rojas. He studied theology, philosophy, and law in the San Fernando seminary in the city of Santa Fe of Antioquia. In 1851, he graduated as a lawyer in Bogotá, a city which saw the formation of the Liberal and Conservative parties. He adhered toward the principles of the latter.

In 1858, he married Estefanía Díaz, with whom he had 6 children.

Governor of Antioquia[edit]

Bust of Pedro Justo Berrío

Pedro Justo Berrío became governor after his liberal predecessor was overthrown. Manuel Murillo Toro, who was a liberal and at the time was also President of the United States of Colombia, accepted this action as fait accompli, setting a precedent for self-determination in the federated states.[6]

In 1864, his first administration had the slogan, "peace, roads, and schools".[7] As such, he passed laws that made primary education compulsory.

He helped connect Antioquia to other parts of the country through the Antioquia Railway starting in 1874. There is a plaque acknowledging his role in the railway construction outside the La Quebrada tunnel, which the trains used to pass through.


  1. ^ Guayaquil: una ciudad dentro de otra. ITM. 1 January 2004. pp. 144–. ISBN 978-958-97510-0-8. 
  2. ^ Isidoro Silva L. (1906). Primer directorio general de la ciudad de Medellin para el año de 1906. ITM. pp. 214–. ISBN 978-958-96777-3-5. 
  3. ^ a b Helen Delpar (3 March 2010). Red Against Blue: The Liberal Party in Colombian Politics, 1863 - 1899. University of Alabama Press. pp. 57–. ISBN 978-0-8173-5615-6. 
  4. ^ Javier Mejía Cubillos. Diccionario biográfico y genealógico de la élite antioqueña y viejocaldense. Segunda mitad del siglo XIX y primera del XX. Javier Mejía Cubillos. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-958-57364-0-5. 
  5. ^ Pedro Rodríguez Mira (1 January 2004). Significado histórico del nombre de algunas calles y carreras de la ciudad de Medellín. ITM. pp. 18–. ISBN 978-958-96777-8-0. 
  6. ^ Harvey F. Kline (1 June 2012). Historical Dictionary of Colombia. Scarecrow Press. pp. 340–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7955-3. 
  7. ^ Luis Fernando González E. (2007). Medellín, los orígenes y la transición a la modernidad: crecimiento y modelos urbanos 1775-1932. Univ. Nacional de Colombia. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-958-8256-64-1.