Usually when we talk about shout of independence, we immediately think of Rufina Alfaro’s in the heroic town of Villa de Los Santos and celebrated every November 10. However, this is not the only one, there have been others in various parts of Panama, one that caught a lot of attention was the “Grito de Santiago” (shout of Santiago) in Veraguas Province.
Reaffirmation of Independence
This shout that many people in our country don’t have much knowledge of is celebrated on November 9. Unlike the Grito de Los Santos that was during the independence of Panama from Spain, this one occurred during the Separation from Colombia in 1903.
On this date the inhabitants of Santiago de Veraguas town decided to support the independence movement that had taken place in Panama City on November 3. This fact was collected by the historian Ismael Ortega in his book “Fifty Anniversary of the Republic”. In this literary work it is related that the events began when Juan Bautista Amador Garcia, nephew of the man who would become the first president of the Republic, was the recipient of a telegram sent from the capital by Ramon Valdes to request adherence to the deed that had taken place in the capital. Immediately, Amador summoned the inhabitants of Santiago to the main square to announce the events, which received wide support from those present, including important figures such as Manuel Salvador Pinilla, who drafted the act of the “Cry of Santiago”, and Oscar Fabrega . The act was signed by a group of notable citizens, representing the vast majority of the province’s inhabitants who approved of the separation from Colombia.
Union of Santiago to the Independence Movement
In this way, the capital of the province of Veraguas joined the separatist deed of Panama from Colombia on November 3, 1903. “Forward… long live the Republic”, was the shout of Amador at the moment when those present, they cheered. Subsequently, the people of Santiago seized the weapons that the Colombian prefect Aníbal García kept in the city, and assumed control of the police station.
Other important cries in Panamanian history were also the “Grito del Distrito de Pocri” and “Grito de Independencia de Montijo”.