Hugh O’Shaughnessy

A Land Of Blood And Poison

By Hugh O’Shaughnessy

Since we have Filipino missionaries in Colombia, this should be of interest to the readers. Apart from that, it is interesting that in Colombia the beleaguered peasants have started Peace Zones as we did in the Philippines in the nineties. Colombia is a very large country. There are areas of the land which are mercifully free from the turmoil we describe here. (Ed.)

Scores of Oscar Romeros, martyrs for their faith, for peace and for their fellow men and women, are going to their deaths every year in Colombia. Lay and clerical they die, as people are sucked into a swamp of mud and blood, war, poison and deceit which has no present parallel in the Western Hemisphere and few, if any, parallels in any other parts of the world. The killing has been going on for half a century, well before Colombia was a source of drugs. In the decade after the killing of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, a popular Liberal leader, in 1948, more Colombians died in battles between Liberals and Conservatives than Britain lost in the Second World War. The killing continues.