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La Pola
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    (1795-November 14, 1817)
    Born in Guaduas, Viceroyalty of New Granada
    Colombian national heroine
    Commemorated as Policarpa Salavarietta
    Also went by the alias of Gregoria Apolinaria
    Employed as a seamstress and teacher
    Campaigned against the Spanish royalist Government's oppressive policies towards Indians, Mestizos, Creoles, and non-royalists
    Worked as a spy for anti-royalist forces, infiltrating the homes of royalist Hidalgo families, in Bogota, to obtain information (1817)
    Acted as a recruiter for the insurgency, increasing the size of the anti-royalist forces exponentially
    Also helped captured rebels to escape imprisonment and to transport weapons
    Arrested by royalist police, who found evidence of her ties to the insurgency from two captured rebels
    Found guilty on charges of espionage and treason; executed by firing squad, along with 6 other prisoners in the Bolívar Square (Nov. 14, 1817)
    Her childhood home is a museum.
    Her legal birth name remains unknown.
    Her place of birth was also disputed over (for years it was believed to be Bogota).
    She entered into Bogota, with forged documents and an assumed name.
    She was the subject of a soap opera-like RCN TV telenovela in 2010.
    Outside of Colombia, she is overshadowed by fellow patriot, General and President Simon Bolivar.
    This, despite the fact that, ironically, she was a native born Colombian while Bolivar wasn't.
    She played the guitar.
    She lost both her parents and two siblings to a Smallpox epidemic.
    She was executed alongside her lover.
    She cussed out the firing squad, to their faces, before being shot.
    She has been called Colombia's own Joan of Arc.
    But, if anything, she probably more closely resembles a Latin American version of Rani Lakshmibai.
    She is featured on both Colombian postage and on the Colombia peso banknotes.
    She is honored annually every November 14, 'The Day of the Colombian Woman' dedicated to 'Our Heroine, Policarpa Savarietta.'
    She is the only real-life historical female figure to appear on Colombian currency.
    She may have been one of the indirect inspirations for Puccini's 'Tosca' opera libretto.
    The night before her execution, she was offered wine by the guards.
    She reportedly took the glass and then threw it back in their faces, yelling 'I would not even accept a glass of water from my enemies!'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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