Help Identify the Antioquia 32!

Scroll down to the Comments section for the latest updates! 

Guest post by Holly Ackerman, Head of International and Area Studies and Librarian for Latin America, Iberia and Latino/a Studies. This post is in Spanish as well as English. Scroll down for the Spanish version.

The photo below depicts thirty-two distinguished Colombian gentlemen whose individual and collective identities have been lost with the passage of time. We are hoping you can help us restore them. Are they politicians? Club members? Businessmen? Crusading newspaper journalists?  Where did they fit in the life of their times? Where do they stand in history?

Who are these mysterious men? Click on the image to see the full-size version.

Take a look at the image made by Jorge Obando Carmona, one of Colombia’s most famous photographers, who specialized in panoramic views. We suspect the photo was taken in the 1930s or ‘40s, but Obando worked in the 1950s as well. He photographed primarily in Medellín and other sites in Antioquia. This photo is labeled Medellín.

The large photo (7.5” x 28.5”) was given to Deborah Jakubs, the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian & Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University, by Rod Ross, who prior to his 2016 retirement was an archivist with the National Archives. Jakubs describes the circumstances of the gift: “I did not know Rod Ross until we crossed paths purely by chance in January 2018 in Armenia, Colombia, at a small hotel.  He later wrote and mentioned the mysterious photo, offering it to Duke’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.  He reports that his late wife discovered the rolled-up photo in a shoebox with other photos when she cleaned out her parents’ apartment following their deaths.”

Ross’s late wife, Clara Restrepo (1933-2010), was the daughter of Juan María Restrepo Marquez and María Luisa Ramos Restrepo. Juan María was born in Medellín, son of Pedro Restrepo, who served as a minister in the administration of his uncle, President Carlos Restrepo.  Young John/Juan spent part of his very early childhood in the presidential palace during the administration of his great uncle.  Ross knows nothing further about the photo but has an archivist’s curiosity about these men in suits.

If you recognize one or more of the Antioquia 32, please let us know. By clicking on the “+” symbol, you can enlarge the photos to see each person more clearly.

Send identifying information to Holly Ackerman, Head of International and Area Studies and Librarian for Latin America, Iberia and Latino/a Studies, at

As identities are verified, we will update this post.

¡Ayúdenos a identificar a los Antioquia 32!

La foto de abajo es de 32 distinguidos caballeros colombianos cuyas identidades individuales y colectivas se han perdido con el paso del tiempo. Esperamos que nos puedan ayudar a restaurarlas. ¿Son políticos? ¿Miembros de un Club? ¿Periodistas de cruzada? Hombres de negocio? ¿Dónde encajan en la vida de la época? En la historia?

¿Quiénes son estos hombres misteriosos? Haz clic sobre la imágen para ver la versión grande.

Echa un vistazo a la imagen hecha por Jorge Obando Carmona, uno de los fotógrafos más famosos de Colombia, que se especializó en vistas panorámicas. Sospechamos que la foto fue sacada en la década de 1930 o 1940 pero Obando trabajaba también en los años cincuenta. Hacía fotos sobre todo en Medellín y otros lugares de Antioquia.

Esta foto grande (7.5 por 28.5 pulgadas) fue presentado a Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway Directora y Vice Provost de Bibliotecas en Duke University por Rod Ross, hasta su jubilación en 2016 archivista en el Archivo Nacional de los Estados Unidos. Jakubs describe las circunstancias del regalo: “Yo no lo conocía a Rod Ross hasta encontrarlo por casualidad completa en enero del 2018 en Armenia, Colombia en un pequeño hotel.  Más tarde Rod me escribió sobre la foto panorámica, ofreciéndola como regalo a la David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library de Duke University.  Me contó que su esposa finada había encontrado la foto arollada en una caja de zapatos con otras fotos cuando limpiaba el departamento de los padres después de sus fallecimientos.”

La esposa finada de Ross, Clara Restrepo (1933-2010), fue hija de Juan Maria Restrepo Marquez y Maria Luisa Ramos Restrepo. Juan María nació en Medellín, hijo de Pedro Restrepo, quien se desempeñó como Ministro de la administración de su tío, el Presidente Carlos Restrepo.  Juan pasó parte de su niñez en el palacio presidencial durante el gobierno de su tío abuelo. Ross no sabe nada más acerca de la foto pero tiene la curiosidad de un archivsta sobre estos hombres vestidos de traje.

Si reconoces a uno o más de los 32 de Antioquia, por favor háganoslo saber. Haciendo clic sobre el símbolo “+”,  puede ampliar las fotos para ver a cada persona más claramente. Favor de enviar información a Holly Ackerman, jefa del Departamento de Estudios Internacionales y Bibliotecaria para Latinoaméria, Iberia, y Estudios Latino/a,  Cuando se verifiquen las identidades, actualizaremos este post.

34 thoughts on “Help Identify the Antioquia 32!”

  1. UPDATE! We now have our first positive identification! This tall guy near the middle of the picture wearing the flower in his lapel is Enrique Olaya Herrera, former President of Colombia (1930-1934). Our first clue!
    Thumbnail image of Enrique Olaya Herrera

    1. The 7th man fron right to left is another Colombian President, Alfonso López Pumarejo (1934-1938; 1942-1946)

        1. No, the 7th from right to left is Alfonso López Pumarejo. Eduardo Santos is 7th from LEFT to RIGHT

  2. MORE UPDATES! We now have triple confirmation from three commenters that this guy, 7th from the right, is Alfonso López Pumarejo, who twice served as President of Colombia (1934-1938, 1942-1945) as a member of the Colombian Liberal Party.
    Alfonso Lopez Pumarejo

    And this guy, 7th from left, is Eduardo Santos Montejo, prominent Colombian journalist, publisher, and President of Colombia from 1938-1942.
    Eduardo Santos Montejo

    6th from left is Gabriel Turbay from Bucaramanga, Santander, a Liberal minister in the 1930s and 1940s who unsuccessfully ran for president in 1946.
    Gabriel Turbay

    11th from left is Luis Eduardo Nieto Caballero, a Liberal columnist from Bogota.
    Luis Enduardo Nieto Caballero

    18th from left and standing just to the left of Enrique Olaya Herrera is the Antioquian politician Carlos E. Restrepo, President of Colombia 1910-1914 of the bipartidista Union Republicana movement. Although a Conservative, he supported the Liberal Olaya for president in 1930 and served in his first cabinet.
    Carlos E Restrepo

    11th from right is Alejandro Galvis Galvis, Liberal politician and journalist from Bucaramanga. (NOTE: See correction further down in the more recent comments.)
    Alejandro Galvis Galvis

    Also, we are fairly certain we are narrowing in on the date and occasion for this photograph. During Enrique Olaya Herrera’s whirlwind presidential campaign, he and his electoral party stopped in Medellin January 22-25, 1930. So the photo was likely taken during that timeframe, perhaps at one of the local private clubs.

    SPECIAL THANKS to Tom Williford, Professor of History at Southwest Minnesota State University, for his help identifying these figures and explaining the historical context!

  3. MORE THANKS! To Malcolm Deas, Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford, for help confirming the identities of Alfonso Lopez Pumarejo, Carlos E. Restrepo, and Enrique Olaya Herrera.

  4. Eduardo Santos? (7), Enrique Olaya Herrera (19) y Alfonso López Pumarejo (26). Olaya murió en 1937, luego la foto no puede ser posterior. Creo que no todos son antioqueños.

  5. MORE THANKS! To Robinson López at the Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia, Professor Bruce M. Bagley at the University of Miami, and Sergio Escobar, former advisor to the mayor of Medellin for their helpful suggestions and research!

  6. Is this photo copyrighted? I am interested in using it as a reference photo for paintings.

  7. De izquierda a derecha:
    6 Gabriel Turbay
    7 Eduardo Santos (presidente 1938 a 1942)
    18 Carlos Eugenio Restrepo (Presidente 1910 a 1914)
    10 Enrique Olaya Herrera, (Presidente 1930 a 1934)
    26 Alfonso López Pumarejo (Presidente 1934 a 1938 y 1942 a 1945. Seguramente la fotografía fue tomada en Medellín durante la campaña presidencial de Olaya Herrera en las canchas de tenis del Club Campestre o del Bosque de la Independencia. Allí se planeó el regreso del partido Liberal al gobierno y su hegemonía hasta 1946. Entre 1945 y 1946 fue presidente interino Alberto Lleras Camargo para terminar el gobierno de López Pumarejo quien renunció al cargo.

  8. I posted this on Facebook. I got a response from Bernardo González White, famous Colombian numismatist and filatelist. He confirms some of the members you’ve already confirmed, but also speculates about the possible location of the photograph.

    His answer:
    De izquierda a derecha; 6 Gabriel Turbay – 7 Eduardo Santos,presidente 1938-42, – 18 Carlos E. Restrepo presidente 1910-14, – 19 Olaya Herrera candidato y presidente 1930-34, –
    26 Lopéz Pumarejo presidente 1934-38 y 1942-45. Esa cancha deber ser en el Club Campestre o en el Bosque de la Independencia años 30s. Así cuadraron la hegemonía liberal hasta el interino Lleras Camargo y en 1946 regresaron los godos con Ospina Pérez. Hasta hoy con

  9. Buenas tardes,
    El señor Oscar Jaime Obando Ospina, el hijo menor del fotógrafo Obando, administra el archivo histórico de su padre, de pronto esta información les pueda ser útil.
    La universidad EAFIT en el 2011 hizo una exposición del trabajo de Obando, de pronto a través de la universidad puedan establecer contacto con su hijo y les ayude a identificar la fotografía.

    1. Gracias por su ayuda, Norma. Hemos enviado varios mensajes a EAFIT. Ud. sabe como contactar a Oscar Jaime Obando?

  10. MORE UPDATES! Over the weekend, several helpful responses poured in, and we are now able to identify more of the individuals in this photograph.

    This fellow, 8th from the right, is Antonio Maria Gutierrez Pelaez (Liberal, Senator, Rep. Congress, President of the Liberal Directorate of Antioquia). (NOTE: See correction further down in the more recent comments.)
    Antonio Maria Gutierrez Pelaez

    Pictured here, 5th from the left, is Baldomero Sanin Cano (Liberal writer and critic, frequently published in El Tiempo; would represent Colombia as Ambassador in Argentina, served in Congress from 1924-1933).
    Baldomero Sanin Cano

    And here, 10th from left, we have Samuel Moreno Olano (Liberal Secretario de Gobierno of the Department of Antioquia; Minister of Justice under Olaya Herrera).
    Samuel Moreno Olano

    Next to him, 9th from left, is (possibly–not 100% certain) Roberto Arcila Ramirez (Liberal legal representative for the Frontino Gold Mines from 1925-37).
    Roberto Arcila Ramirez

    And this gentleman, 2nd from right, is Ricardo Olano (wealthy Medellin businessman, big Liberal Party supporter/contributor, close to Olaya Herrera because the latter named Olano’s son, Germán, Colombian Consul to New York; Olano was also a renowned urban reformer).
    Ricardo Olano

    SPECIAL THANKS to Mary Roldán, Dorothy Epstein Professor of Latin American History and Chair, Department of History, at Hunter College, CUNY, for these exceptional contributions!

    1. The ID of Samuel Moreno Olano has been confirmed by his grand daughter Liliana Uribe Moreno.

  11. EVEN MORE UPDATES, WITH EVEN MORE THANKS! Several more positive identifications, to whit:

    Pictured here, 3rd from left, is Tulio Enrique Tascón, Minister of Posts and Telegraphs.
    Tulio Enrique Tascon

    This gentleman, 15th from left, appears to be Francisco José Chaux, Minister of Industry.
    Francisco Jose Chaux

    This man, 17th from left, is Camilo C. Restrepo, Governor of Antioquia. (NOTE: See correction further down in the more recent comments.)
    Camilo C Restrepo

    23rd from left is Jaime Jaramillo Arango, a senior official of the government of Antioquia and later (1934) Minister of Education.
    Jaime Jaramillo Arango

    And next to him, 24th from left, is Abel Carbonell, Minister of Education.
    Abel Carbonell

    Also, we have a second possibility for the date when the photo was taken. President Olaya made a visit to Medellin with his ministries and some journalists sometime around September-October 1930. So it’s possible the photo was taken then, rather than January 1930, as previously stated. The search goes on!

    SPECIAL THANKS to Santiago Colmenares and Enrique Santos Molano for these extraordinary contributions!

  12. HELP US RESOLVE A DEBATE! We now have conflicting identifications for the following two men in the photograph.

    6th from left
    Gabriel Turbay OR Francisco de Paula Perez

    One expert believes this to be Gabriel Turbay, a Liberal minister in the 1930s and 1940s who unsuccessfully ran for president in 1946. Another expert identifies him as Francisco de Paula Pérez, Minister of Finance. WHO’S RIGHT?

    9th from left
    Roberto Arcila Ramirez OR Agustin Morales Olaya

    Likewise, one reliable source identifies this gentleman as Roberto Arcila Ramirez, legal representative for the Frontino Gold Mines from 1925-37. Another identifies him as Agustín Morales Olaya, Minister of War. WHO’S RIGHT?

    Can you help us settle the identities of these two men?

    1. TIE-BREAKER UPDATE! We think have settled one of these debates.

      The man pictured 6th from left is definitely Gabriel Turbay, not Francisco de Paula Pérez.
      Gabriel Turbay

      Pérez is this man looking thoughtfully off-camera, pictured 16th from left.
      Francisco de Paula Perez

      THANKS AGAIN to Mary J. Roldan of Hunter College, CUNY, for helping us resolve the conundrum!

  13. Jorge Orlando Melo tweeted (
    “El 23 de enero de 1930, cuando Olaya, con Santos, Turbay, López y otros fue a Medellín, invitado por Restrepo? Ese día hubo en el Club Campestre, que parece el sitio de la foto, un almuerzo ‘sencillo, casi íntimo, de hombres solos. Obando tomo una buena fotografía’ (Olano) ”

    Prof. Carlos Mejía expanded Prof. Melo’s reference to Ricardo Olano’s Memorias 1918-1935,, adding that “…en las páginas cercanas al texto que cita se encuentran muchos nombres que podrían ayudar a identificar al resto de los fotografiados …”

    (Hi Dr. Williford!)

  14. A CORRECTION! In an earlier comment, we erroneously identified this fellow, 8th from the right, as Antonio Maria Gutierrez Pelaez (Liberal, Senator, Rep. Congress, President of the Liberal Directorate of Antioquia). However, after further research, we have ascertained that he is in fact Clodomiro Ramírez Botero (1869-1940), Procurador General during the government of Olaya Herrera (1930-34). He was a politician-writer-lawyer from Antioquia linked to the Conservative Party.

    Antonio Maria Gutierrez Pelaez

    THANKS AGAIN to Santiago Colmenares for helping us to resolve this one!

  15. ANOTHER CORRECTION! In an earlier comment, we misidentified this man, 17th from left, as Camilo C. Restrepo, Governor of Antioquia. According to Andrés Restrepo, the great-nephew of Camilo C. Restrepo, that’s not him. So the hunt for this man’s identity continues.

    Camilo C Restrepo

    1. You are correct! You are the second person to confirm his identity. Thank you!

  16. Hello,
    I sent the photo to a grandson of Pedro Olarte Sañudo and asked him if the 29th from left to right was his grandfather (white hair and black moustache) and he answered that undoubtely he is Pedro Olarte. He was an important Liberal businessman and was mayor of Medellín. He has been identified by oher people as Mr Galvis.

  17. MORE UPDATES, ANOTHER CORRECTION, AND MORE THANKS! We now have double confirmation that this man, 1st on the left, is Ricardo Uribe Escobar, a prominent Liberal politician, lawyer, writer, and editor.

    Ricardo Uribe Escobar

    Also, in an earlier comment, we misidentified this man, 11th from right as Alejandro Galvis Galvis, a Liberal politician and journalist from Bucaramanga. We now have confirmation from a family member and another commenter on this blog that he is actually Pedro Olarte Sañudo, an important Liberal businessman and mayor of Medellin.
    Alejandro Galvis Galvis

    THANKS to Andrés Restrepo, Jorge Julián Restrepo, and Camilo Alvarez Olarte for this important contribution!


    Just last night, we were sent an email from Natalia Gutiérrez Urquijo, a doctoral student in history at El Colegio de México in Mexico City. Natalia found the original photo published in El Tiempo, the main Colombian newspaper, on January 29, 1930. Here’s the link where you can see it for yourself.

    The headline reads (in English): “A view of those attending a dinner given for Dr. Enrique Olaya Herrera in the Medellin Country Club.” And the caption beneath the photo says, “In the Center, Dr. Olaya Herrera between Dr. Carlos E. Restrepo and don Ricardo Greiffenstein; also shown are the gentlemen who accompanied Dr. Olaya Herrera on his tour and some of the most distinguished personalities of Medellín.”

    This conclusively fills in many important pieces of the puzzle. We now know where and when the photo was taken, as well as the occasion for this illustrious gathering.

    We also now know the identity of the man standing next to Olaya, 20th from the left. He is Ricardo Greiffenstein, President of the Public Improvement Society of Medellín.
    Ricardo Greiffenstein

    Currently, we have positively identified 19 of the 32 men in this photo, and thanks to this archival breakthrough, we are much closer to identifying the rest.

    A MILLION THANKS to Natalia Gutiérrez Urquijo of El Colegio de México for this invaluable contribution and her impressive archival detective work!

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