COLUMBIA: God's Angry Man

In Bogota's plush-and-gold Colon theater, 500 blue-ribboned Conservative delegates last week nominated pouchy-eyed Laureano Gomez, 60, as their candidate in next month's presidential elections. In Colombia, which has seen little peace since the Bogota uprising of April 9, 1948, this amounted to a declaration of bitter political—if not civil—war.

Laureano (no other name is needed to identify him in Colombia) is the country's Mr. Conservative, a blown-in-the-bottle Bourbon whom Liberals passionately hate. On the night of the April 9 riots, mobs of frenzied men seeking to avenge the assassination of Liberal Chieftain Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, surged through Bogota's gutted streets...

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