“We demand equal representation in the proposed new national assembly of the Spains. We want thirty-six members, not nine, to represent our twelve million American Spaniards to match the thirty-six votes granted to your twelve million of European Spaniards.” This was a clarion call of defiance as Camilo Torres, president of the Bogotá Cabildo, certainly knew.

This little pamphlet (32 pages) is the stuff of which revolutions are made. And how did Ferdinand VII answer this challenge? In 1816 he had Torres, along with hundreds of other Colombian republicans, executed.

A demand for equality has always been revolutionary, a threat to established wealth and power. Ferdinand VII was, as his mother said, a “tiger” but no fool. Absolute monarchs could never tolerate demands for equality, especially after 1776. Ferdinand did what he had to do, and made Torres a martyr to the cause of equality.