Juan Sebastián GÓMEZ GONZÁLEZ

2019-2020

University of Antioquia

Keywords: Smuggling, Contraband, Corruption, Rebellion, Isthmus of Panama

The First Panama Papers. Rebellion, Illegal Trade and Corruption in the Isthmus of Panama, 1716-1760

Juan Sebastián Gómez González is Associate Professor of History at the University of Antioquia (Colombia). He holds a B.A in History from the National University of Colombia, Medellín, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Latin American Studies from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). His research interests focus on the entangled histories of the borderland overseas territories, disputed by European empires during the 17th and 18th centuries. He won Colombia’s national prize for best historical research in 2013, awarded by the country’s Ministry of Culture and the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History. He was a short-term fellow at Casa de Velázquez (2017) and at The John Carter Brown Library, Brown University (2019). He participates in international networks, and has published numerous articles, book chapters and reviews in edited volumes and journals. Since 2013 he has served on the Editorial Board of the academic journal Trashumante. Revista Americana de Historia Social.

Research project

This research project examines the connections among illegal trade, corruption, and anti-monarchist rebellion in the provinces of the Isthmus of Panama between 1716 and 1760. “The First Panama Papers” traces the causes of one of the biggest corruption scandals to rock Tierra Firme during the eighteenth century. The scandal responded to the activities of the Confederate Societies of Smugglers, hierarchical organizations that challenged the authority of the King of Spain, made alliances with foreigners in the Antilles, and earned significant fortunes through illegal trade in the Greater-Caribbean and Atlantic Worlds. As would be revealed shortly after the extermination of Societies, their economic success would not have been possible without the support of the Royal Audience of Panama’s top authorities. This research sheds new light on the political and social challenges that Bourbon administration had to assume in the Americas.

Selected Publications

Sebastián Gómez González, Frontera selvática. Españoles, portugueses y su disputa por el noroccidente amazónico, siglo XVIII. Bogotá : Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e Historia, 2014 (2nd Reprint : 2017)

Sebastián Gómez González, “El espíritu de contrabando que reina por estas partes. Comerciantes portugueses, misioneros y comercio ilícito en el piedemonte andino-amazónico, 1730-1790”, Tempo 23.3 (2017).

Sebastián Gómez González, “Resistencia india, conciliación y estrategia militar en Quixos durante la primera mitad del siglo XVIII”, Procesos. Revista Ecuatoriana de Historia 41 (2015).

Sebastián Gómez González, “A Guerra da Orelha de Jenkins. Historias entrelaçadas em contextos anglo hispânicos (1739-1748)”. Adilson J. I. Brito; Carlos Augusto Bastos (orgs.) Entre extremos. Experiencias fronteiriças e transfronteiriças nas regiones do Rio Amazonas e do Rio da Prata-América Latina, séculos XVI-XX. Curitiba: Editora CRV, 2018. ?

Sebastián Gómez González, “Disputas imperiales en una frontera del Caribe continental. La costa de Mosquitos a finales del siglo XVIII”, in Johanna von Grafenstein; Rafal Reichert; Julio César Rodríguez Treviño (coords.). Entre lo legal, lo ilícito y lo clandestino. Prácticas comerciales y navegación en el Gran Caribe. Siglos XVII al XIX”. México: Instituto Mora /Conacyt, 2018. ?

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