Today Panama celebrates The Independence of the Villa de Los Santos also known as La Independencia de la Villa de Los Santos, November 10, 1821. This event would begin a process of uprisings in cities across the Isthmus, ending with the declaration of the independence of Panama from Spain on November 28, 1821. But slavery was somehow kept in the Isthmus until almost the end of the century. In Panama slavery was part of the economy of the Isthmus and all institutions like hospitals, clergy, landowners and the local bourgeoisie practiced. Powerful interests were in agreement with slavery and the fact that so much money was invested in the institution.
It was not until May 21, 1851 that thanks to Simon Bolivar, the abolition of slavery was enacted by the Congress of the New Granada. Slavery didn’t stop completely and after independence from Colombia the Constitution of 1904, the first of Panamanian independent life, debuted with Article 19, which prescribed: "There will be no slaves in Panama. Whoever, is a servant and step on the territory of the Republic, shall be free. "
The real heroes of the independence are Maroons like Bayano, Felipillo Anton Mandinga, and Luis de Mozanbique. Revolutionary leaders of the earliest and most important Palenque’s in the Americas like Nombre de Dios, Acla, El Rincon, Chepo, Pacora and Real de Santamaria in Darien where my grandfather Antonio Jaramillo was.
Antonio Jose Guzman
Photo - Fiesta popular de Afrodescendientes en la ciudad de Panamá - El Hatillo, 1890.
© Carlos Endara Andrade, (April 13, 1865 - 1954) Ecuadorian photographer who developed his work in Panama, becoming one of the pioneers of Panamanian photography.