This article sheds light on the fact that artists and intellectuals—along with the majority of the general population—supported General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (in power from 1953–57) at the beginning of his administration, largely because he presented himself as a solution to the many problems facing the country. The Asociación de Escritores y Artistas de Colombia (AEAC) was founded in April 1954 at the initiative of Otto Morales Benítez. The many intellectuals who participated in that organization include: writer Eduardo Zalamea Borda (1907–1963); journalist, writer, politician, and academic Jaime Posada Díaz (born 1926); Abelardo Forero Benavides (1912–2003); and Fernando Charry Lara (1920–2004). During the fifties, its board included outstanding artists Ignacio Gómez Jaramillo (1910–1970) and Judith Márquez Montoya (1925–1994).
Over the course of its long life, the Asociación de Escritores y Artistas de Colombia played a fairly important role in the Colombian art scene. With regional chapters in Colombia’s largest cities, it was geared to organizing events and supporting cultural policies that furthered the work of writers and artists. The reactionary administrations of Laureano Gómez and Roberto Urdaneta Arbeláez (in power from 1950–53) looked on artistic events with suspicion, and hence provided them with little support. The AEAC was founded to make up for what many writers and artists considered neglect on the part of the Colombian state. The proposed policies of the regime that took power pursuant to the military coup at the hand of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (May 10, 1953) were in keeping with the AEAC’s interests.
At the end of the dictatorship four years after it had seized power (May 10, 1957), however, many artists made works that condemned the regime’s abuses.