Almeria City honours historical ‘Martyrs of Liberty’ in annual Los Coloraos event today

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COMMEMORATION: The Plaza Vieja houses a monument to Los Coloraos CREDIT: IU Almeria, via Twitter

ALMERIA CITY has seen the start of this year’s annual Los Coloraos tribute today (Friday) which commemorates a 19th Century uprising against a tyrannical Spanish king.

Los Coloraos got underway at 10am this morning in the chamber of the City Hall. Participants laid a wreath in memory of the ‘Martyrs of Liberty’ killed in 1824. It was placed before the El Pingurucho monument.

Andres Garcia Lorca, a professor at the University of Almeria and a former representative of the Spanish government in the province, is set to deliver this year’s address. There is also set to be a commemoration in the city’s Plaza Vieja.

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Ramon Fernandez-Pacheco, the Mayor of Almeria City, posted a video message on Twitter encouraging people to join in with the celebration.

“We are celebrating Los Coloraos in honour of those who lost their lives in 1824 defending freedom and a just constitutional regime,” he said.

 

Several local political groups in including the left-leaning Partido Socialista (PSOE) and the leftist Izquierda Unida (IU) have posted tweets promoting the event.

 

The event is not without controversy. Some have criticised the playing of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem, at the event.

This year’s festival also comes as the PSOE has criticised the ruling conservative Partido Popular (PP) in Almeria City over its plans to remodel the Plaza Vieja. The Plaza is home to a monument to the Martyrs of Liberty.

Los Coloraos marks the anniversary of the arrival of 22 liberals in 1824 in Almeria from Gibraltar who sought support for an uprising against King Ferdinand VII of Spain.

Ferdinand had a reputation for being a despotic ruler and his critics dubbed him El Rey Felon (The Felon King). Historian Stanley Payne said he was the “basest” king in Spanish history.

The liberal rebels sought a return to the government set out in the Cadiz Constitution of 1812, which sought to curb the monarchy’s power and establish a Parliament.

The 22 liberals who arrived in Almeria failed in their uprising. They were arrested and then shot on August 24 1824 without trial. They were known as Los Coloraos due to their red jackets.

 

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