COLOMBIA: Dictator's Cruise

From San Andres in mountainous Huila Department came bloody news: a band of Conservative partisans had swept through town and, in the pattern of Colombia's decade-long, interparty war, massacred 38 men, women and children, mostly from Liberal families. Then, in Bogota, citizens spotted black-suited gunslingers drifting into town.

Colombia security police soon sniffed out the timetable of the plot: in three days, right-wing fanatics and cashiered army officers would rise throughout the country. In Bogota, 2,000 rebels, divided into "death brigades," would shoot up both chambers of Congress and assassinate government leaders, hoping to topple the Conservative-Liberal coalition regime and...

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