200 Years of Latin American Orders and Medals

Latin America’s political independence is most commonly associated with Simón Bolívar (1783–1830), the Venezuelan revolutionary general who led republican armies to liberate Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru beginning in 1813. Venezuela is the only country to award an order named exclusively for him. The Order of the Liberator was instituted in 1880 and is traditionally worn by the Venezuelan president to symbolize sovereign power. The order comes in six grades, of which the Collar, Grand Cross, and Officer are displayed.

José Gil de Castro (Peru, Chile, 1785–1841), Portrait of Simón Bolívar, 1823. Museo Histórico Nacional, Buenos Aires.
Hugo Chavez (1954–2013), President of Venezuela, wearing the Order of the Liberator and holding the sword of Simón Bolívar. Photographed July 27, 2011; © Andres Leighton/AP/Corbis
Venezuela, Order of the Liberator, Collar
Venezuela, Order of the Liberator, Grand Cross set
Venezuela, Order of the Liberator, Officer