COLOMBIA: Upheaval

Shortly before 1 p.m., a light rain swept across Bogotá, wetting the columns of the Capitolio. There the ninth International Conference of American States had been in session for a fortnight on matters of high moment to the hemisphere—the industrial upbuilding of Latin America, the problem of Communism in the Americas. As the rain began to fall, most meetings adjourned for lunch.

Six blocks down the street, a short, muscular lawyer with piercing black eyes stepped briskly out of his office. Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, rabble-rousing leader of Colombia's Liberal Party, was also...

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