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Casimiro Barela

2006 Inductee

Barela was born in Embudo, New Mexico and, at the age of 20, moved to Trinidad, Colorado where he began his political career in 1869 as justice of the peace. Throughout his life, he held many city, county and state offices, including county assessor, county sheriff, and Denver counsel for the Republics of Mexico and Costa Rica. A strong advocate for Colorado’s statehood, he worked to ensure that the state’s constitution was written not only in English but also in Spanish and German at the constitutional convention of 1875. During his many terms in the state senate, he supported voting rights for women, the establishment of Columbus Day as a holiday in 1907 and New Mexico’s request for statehood. He is one of only 16 people honored in the Rotunda of the State Capital building, where a stained glass portrait of him is displayed.