Policarpa Salavarrieta

During the struggle to obtain the independence of Colombia , there were many relevant characters who had a very important performance in the struggle. One of them was Policarpa Salavarrieta , a woman considered a true heroine in her time who managed to confront and overcome the terror that had been imposed in New Granada at the beginning of the 19th century, at which time the reconquest by Spain took place .

Personal information

  • When was he born: 01/26/1795
  • Where he was born: Guaduas, Colombia
  • When he died: 11/14/1817
  • Where he died: Bogotá, Colombia

Who was Policarpa Salavarrieta?

Policarpa Salavarrieta was a woman who had the courage to face society and who is considered a heroine during the independence of Colombia who played an important role as a spy for the independent side.

  • Biography of Policarpa Salavarrieta
  • Death
  • What did Policarpa Salavarrieta do
  • Parents
  • Husband
  • Offspring
  • Importance
  • Recognitions to Policarpa Salavarrieta
  • Dress
  • Quotes by Policarpa Salavarrieta
  • Curiosities

Biography of Policarpa Salavarrieta

To date there are no precise data on the date of birth of Policarpa Salavarrieta, although many expert historians place this moment between the years 1793 and 1795 . Apparently he was born in a city called Villa de Guaduas and his name is not completely official. It is believed that he was the descendant of a wealthy family. It was known as ” La Pola “ .

Policarpa Salavarrieta moved with her family to live in Bogotá in 1797 and upon arrival, they faced a smallpox epidemic that killed two of their brothers. Later, together with one of her brothers, she moved to live with Catarina and her husband, who was also her sister. She worked for a time as a seamstress and always had a fervent patriotic spirit as did many of her family members. Little by little, he began to enter the fight for the independence of his country until he was able to effectively enter the houses of the senior leaders to obtain important information.


In order to be captured, her opponents decided to arrest Alejo Sabarin to see if in this way they could find the whereabouts of Policarpa Salavarrieta because she was a very skilled woman and knew perfectly how to escape and sneak into the city. It was Sergeant Iglesias that was tasked with finding and arresting her. After Sabarin’s capture, she was located in the house of a woman named Doña Andrea Ricaurte De Lozano . After her arrest, she was taken to a cell located where the Colegio del Rosario is located, which at that time functioned as a prison.

He was sentenced to death in the first days of the month of November 1817 with Alejo and was finally shot to death one 14 November 1817 at 9 am. Two priests accompanied her on the day of her death and before being assassinated, she expressed all her thoughts to those around her. After her death, her body was not exposed to the public in Bogotá since she was a woman and this aspect was respected.

His brothers later went to ask for his body in the Church of San Agustín and after his death, he was a source of inspiration for his allies, even for poets and writers who were inspired by his work.

What did Policarpa Salavarrieta do

At just 14 years old, Policarpa Salavarrieta began to collaborate and work in a dedicated way in the cry of independence and joined the independence struggle as a spy. One of the main activities that Policarpa Salavarrieta did when he arrived in the capital was to work among the royal relatives in order to listen to important news , to find out telephone numbers and to find out about all the movements that the enemy troops were making and planning to make. He collected a lot of information about the weapons, the orders that were issued and information that was extremely useful for the preparation and planning of the ambushes that the guerrillas organized.

She was a volunteer for the guerrillas and thanks to the information she was able to gather in the conversations of important figures, she was able to help the patriots, even helping with the escape of many of her fellow soldiers who were imprisoned in the Spanish barracks. This is how this important woman became one of the leading figures in the independence movement . It also had the function of recruiting soldiers.


His father was Joaquín Salavarrieta who was a man who had a medium fortune and who was dedicated to business, agriculture and commerce. His mother was Mariana Ríos .


There is no safe data on her husband, many claim that he met him when he decided to join the war movements, but there are no exact data in this regard. Many consider that she had a relationship with Alejo Sabarin and that he was her fiancé but this was not confirmed.


There are no data to date on any descendant of Policarpa Salavarrieta.


She was a woman of great importance throughout the country’s independence process because, thanks to her cunning and courage, she managed to obtain very important information that helped the patriots to achieve their goal. She is a character who manages to represent the brave and fighter woman who even gave her life for her ideals and for her country .

Recognitions to Policarpa Salavarrieta

Thanks to her constant and fervent struggle to achieve the independence of her country, Policarpa Salavatierra has been and is considered in her country as the most representative woman in this struggle. In her honor, the country declared November 14 as Colombian Women’s Day in commemoration of her death. She is seen as a republican heroine and to pay tribute to her, many bills and coins have her figure stamped on being the only woman who could historically represent the country.

Two of the country’s municipalities were also named in his name , one located in the department of Nariño and the other in an urbanization located in Medellín. During the government of José Baita , an important statue of liberty was inaugurated , which has an image of La Pola. A college called Institución Educativa Policarpa Salavarrieta was also founded in his honor.

There have been several television programs that tell his story , a novel called La Pola and a play known as Pola Salavarrieta, which is a historical drama written by the Argentine Bartolomé Miter .


There are no exact data on her dress.

Quotes by Policarpa Salavarrieta

Some important phrases that were mentioned by Policarpa Salavarrieta were the following:

  • You indolent people! How different their lot would be today if they knew the price of freedom.
  • Revenge, compatriots, and death to tyrants!
  • Although I am a woman and I am young, I over the courage to face and suffer death and a thousand more deaths, and do not forget this example.
  • You are the tigers but soon you will be the lambs; today they are pleased with the suffering of their victims, but soon, when the resurrection of the country sounds, they will be dragged to the mud, as is customary for you.
  • You miserable town! I have compassion on them; one day they will have more dignity.


Some curiosities of La Pola are the following:

  • There are no exact data on La Pola’s date of birth.
  • In his father’s will, his name appears as Poland, so his real name is not sure either.
  • By means of a false pass, he could visit Alejo Savarín when he was imprisoned.
  • She was only 21 years old when she was shot in Bogotá.

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