Archive - October 17, 2022

“In That Time of Our Life” by Jeremiah North (Colombia)

“In That Time of Our Life” by Jeremiah North (Colombia)

  By Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65)   One night into my assignment to La Plata, Huila in 1963, I was reading in the dimness of a 40 watt light bulb a banned copy of La Violencia en Colombia. I was riveted by its 1948 description of the lunch-time assassination of Jorge Gaitan, the liberal leader, at a side-walk restaurant next to the country’s leading newspaper, El Tiempo. As its principal author, Orlando Fals Borda wrote: “it was a lone act which stripped with a single bullet the thin veneer of civility from an entire society”. La Violencia then goes on to detail a country’s descent into anarchy. By nightfall, Bogota was in flames. The country’s elite troops were standing shoulder to shoulder, rank upon rank, on the steps of the Ministry of Justice, firing volley after volley into the maddening crowd. They had long given up on shooting people in . . .

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