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La mortalidad de la Guerra de los Mil Días, 1899-1902


  • Adolfo Meisel Roca

    (Banco de la República)

  • Julio E. Romero Prieto

    (Banco de la República)


La Guerra de los Mil Días fue la más letal y costosa guerra civil de Colombia. Hay cierto consenso sobre las consecuencias materiales, pero menos atención ha recibido la pérdida de vidas humanas. Aunque muchos historiadores repiten la cifra de 100.000 víctimas, no está respaldada por un análisis formal. Dado que la población apenas superaba los 4 millones, es una cantidad elevada que amerita una revisión cuidadosa. Utilizando los censos colombianos y los registros del Human Mortality Database, este documento estima el patrón de edad de la mortalidad y evalúa el aumento que estaría relacionado con la guerra. Observando la experiencia de otros países, los modelos ayudan a estimar un valor máximo posible de pérdidas humanas. Si la mortalidad colombiana hubiera aumentado tanto como en Francia durante la Primera Guerra Mundial, el número de víctimas no superaría los 100.000. En un caso mucho menos extremo, si hubiera aumentado tanto como en Inglaterra y Gales durante la Primera Guerra Mundial, el número de muertos sería de 38.724. ******ABSTRACT: The War of the Thousand Days was the most deadly and costly civil war in Colombian history. There is some consensus about the material consequences, but less attention has been paid to human losses. Although the figure of 100,000 casualties is repeated, no support has been provided by formal analysis. Since the population barely exceeded 4 million, it is a high figure deserving a careful reexamination. Using Colombian censuses and the Human Mortality Database, this paper estimates the age-pattern of mortality and assesses the increase that would be related to war. Observing the experience of other countries, models help to estimate maximum possible human losses. If the Colombian mortality had increased as much as in France during World War I, the number of casualties would not exceed the 100,000. In a far less extreme case, if the it had increased as much as in England and Wales during WWI, the death toll would be as high as 38,724.

Suggested Citation

  • Adolfo Meisel Roca & Julio E. Romero Prieto, 2017. "La mortalidad de la Guerra de los Mil Días, 1899-1902," Cuadernos de Historia Económica 43, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:cheedt:43
    DOI: 10.32468/chee.43

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kris James Mitchener & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2004. "Empire, Public Goods, and the Roosevelt Corollary," NBER Working Papers 10729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John Wilmoth & Sarah Zureick & Vladimir Canudas-Romo & Mie Inoue & Cheryl Sawyer, 2012. "A flexible two-dimensional mortality model for use in indirect estimation," Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 66(1), pages 1-28.
    3. Mitchener, Kris James & Weidenmier, Marc, 2005. "Empire, Public Goods, and the Roosevelt Corollary," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 658-692, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gonzalo Cataño., 2021. "El historiador Joaquín Tamayo," Books, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Facultad de Derecho, number 1294, October.

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    More about this item


    Historia de Colombia; censos de Colombia; estimación demográfica; modelos de mortalidad.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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