VENEZUELA: The Padre's Boys

Jesuit Father José María Vélaz made sure that his 28 schoolboys went to confession and Communion before they boarded the chartered DC-3 that was to take them to Caracas for the holidays. The lads, aged 9 to 17, sons of prominent Caracas families, were students at Father Vélaz' Colegio de San Jose at Merida in western Venezuela; two were nephews of President German Suárez Flamerich. As they walked out to the plane in the midday heat, strapping, Chilean-born Father Vélaz waved goodbye.

Six hours later Padre Vélaz got word that the plane was...

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