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José María Melo rejected proposed free trade policies of president elect Monagas, and leads a rebellion of craftsmen. Melo and his followers manage to take most major cities in the Andes by June while Monagas swears in Santa Marta. Then, with the help of regular troops that were under Melo's command or had adhere to him, and an army of craftsmen, Melo proclaims himself as President seated in Bogota.
The war moves into the Caribbean and with a greater support of the Army, the rebels take the Parliament in Santa Marta in late June, where they force the recognition of Melo as president of Colombia.