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ASOPEP was born in response to the felt need to organize a way of relating between the 167 members of an association with several objectives: commercialize their own coffee production, form their own form of government and design their own farm conservation model to guarantee resources. to future generations.

To understand the birth, growth and consolidation of ASOPEP, it is vital to understand the context of the municipality in which it was born, since it combines the main variables to make this a special association as the strong character of its people, the exceptional agro-climatic conditions and since the FARC insurgent group was created there, in Marquetalia, one of its villages. All these contrasts with a marked absence of institutionality and the enormous distance from Ibagué (252 km) along a previously uncovered road, have caused the inhabitants of this municipality to develop their own models of territorial development.


ASOPEP was born in the municipality of Planadas, Tolima, this municipality was born in 1920 thanks to the foundation of the Penal and Agricultural Colony of the South of Atá, created to house prisoners associated with crimes such as homemade manufacturing and smuggling of liquor and tobacco, but its main The purpose was to recruit people who identified with the Liberal Party, since at that time the "conservative hegemony" or the Conservative Party was still under way. Over time, supporters of both parties and others integrated without any problem, generating as a consequence their famous hospitality and kindness, now recognized throughout the world.

It took 11 years for the liberal government of President Enrique Olaya Herrera to decide to close all political prisons in Colombia, including the one in southern Atá, thus allowing the free urbanization of this region that would also give rise to the municipality of Planadas in the 1930s. During a new era of bipartisan violence at the end of the 40's and throughout the 50's, arising after the popular revolts that originated with the assassination of the liberal political leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitán, this population decided to change the name from Atá to Gaitania, in honor of the sacrificed leader. Later in the 50s and 60s, Gaitania was erected as a township of the municipality of Planadas. Right there, the Marquetalia village was part of the so-called “Independent Republics” where, in the absence of a State, the peasants ruled autonomously.

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