Latin America: An Affair of Honor

With his fierce handlebar mustache, his broad-brimmed hat and black cape, Alfredo Palacios, the "grand old man" of Argentina's Socialist Party, resembles a character out of an 1890 melodrama. Like those 1890 heroes, he emphasizes honor. And in a long political life filled with battles for university reform, rights for women, legalized divorce, many are the duels he has fought to defend it.

Last week, Alfredo Palacios, now 65, was in Lima, Peru, at the invitation of ancient, august San Marcos University. In sonorous cadences he stuck pretty close to his lecture subjects—legality and liberty. Only once did he hint of his...

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