chapter  7
12 Pages

THE “DISPOSABLE ONES”

On May 25, 1986, Jaime Pardo Leal had a reason to celebrate. He had just made history. In the presidential elections, the boisterous and charismatic UP presidential candidate had garnered 328,752 votes. It was a tiny percentage compared with the winner, Liberal Party candidate Virgilio Barco, who received 4,212,510 votes. But it was the most that any leftist candidate had ever gotten in Colombia. And it was four times as many votes as the Communist Party candidate had gotten in 1982. It was considerably higher than anyone, including the UP, expected. It was so stunning that Pardo himself couldn’t control his excitement.