The Hemisphere: Blood & Ballots

Rifle-toting, steel-helmeted police stood guard this week while Conservative voters dutifully queued up to mark their ballots at the polls. In an uncontested election, the Conservative government was applying the final constitutional touch to its relentless drive to elevate its arch-conservative leader, Laureano Gómez, into Colombia's presidency.

Election day passed in relative calm. Fumbling Liberals, who had already withdrawn their presidential candidate, Dario Echandia, in protest at government indifference to violence (TIME, Nov. 14), called for a three-day general strike. Though some railroads were affected in the provinces, the main results of...

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