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was born in Valledupar, the department of Cesar, in Northeastern Colombia, on 5 November 1907. Of African descent, he was a prominent figure in his hometown of Valledupar, where he took part in the world of medicine, literature, politics, and academia, but mainly he was a pioneer in the field of psychiatry.

Socarrás spent his childhood in Valledupar, where he had a complicated relationship with his parents. His father was Sabas Socarrás Baleta, a general in the Thousand Days’ War (1899–1902), and his mother was Crisanta Colina Pavajeau, a strict, religious Catholic and entrepreneurial woman. She forced him to study every day at six o’clock for over three hours and to attend mass every Sunday, determined to turn him into a person of influence in Colombian education. As a child, he was only allowed to go out to play with friends for one hour a day.

Socarrás ...