COLOMBIA: A Man to Reckon With

Few Latin American political events can any longer be unimportant to Americans—especially if they happen in Colombia. Colombia's 1,200-mile coastline faces both the Atlantic and the Pacific approaches of the Panama Canal. Its swamps and jungles cover potentially great (but unestimated) pools of petroleum, vital in modern war. Hence any stirring in Colombia's dense political underbrush is peculiarly significant.

Just now the bushes are being agitated by one Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, also known as El Negro (the Dark One), and "Captain of the People." Gaitan is a dapper, black-haired demagogue modeled somewhat...

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