COLOMBIA: The Horrible Night Is Over

President Laureano Gómez, a harsh, angry, forbidding man, ruled.Colombia (pop.: 12,000,000) with a will so stern that other men instinctively cringed and obeyed him. More than any other Colombian of this century, he dominated his country's life. But one afternoon last week, ten of the Colombian army's tanks clanked up and took positions around his modest suburban house, and then—simply, surprisingly—Laureano Gómez, 64, slid like a wilted leaf down history's drainpipe.

That night Lieut. General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, 53, the chief of the armed forces who had sent the tanks, named himself Acting President. The Colombian army, almost unique in Latin...

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