Wednesday, August 04, 2010
One Family´s Return Trip: Pantano de Vargas
Pantano de Vargas is the site of a decisive battle for Bolivar´s troops. It is also where the Lanceros became famous. At one point in the battle, Bolivar lamented aloud that he was feeling that all was lost. Juan Jose Rondón reproached Bolivar saying, ¨How can you say all is lost, if my men have not yet fought?¨ Bolivar turned to Rondón and said, ¨Coronel, Salve usted la Patria!¨ (You go save the country).
Rondon took his cavalry of 14 lance carrying men, and did just that. Read a bit more of the story here:
Only one lancero lost his life, Inocencio Chincá. Today, many military high schools and the School for army subofficals are named in his honor.
Also, the Colombian Special Forces Commandos are called Lanceros. Very few soldiers are invited to attend the Lancero school, and even fewer ever graduate. One of the tests that soldiers aspiring to be Lanceros are forced to complete is to be dropped in the jungle with only a compass and a knife. Then, they are told to meet in a certain location 3 days later.