Prelude to the Military Coup of Rojas Pinilla

It is worthwhile to trace and bring to the present the teachings of his work for these times of crisis within the profession. To return to Silvia Galvis is to return to the path of democratic hope from the trenches of the investigation of the most beautiful trade in the world, as the only nobel-journalist-writer who bore this land, Gabo, called it.

The battling ancestry for liberal ideas came to Silvia through a paternal vein. His father, Alejandro Galvis Galvis, founded the newspaper La Vanguardia Liberal on September 1, 1919. The editorial line of the Santander media was linked to defending the ideas that Rafael Uribe Uribe wielded in the thousand-day war. The father married Alicia Ramírez and from that union four brothers were born: Hortensia, Alejandro, Silvia and Virgilio.

In 1945 Silvia was born in Bucaramanga. His childhood was surrounded by debates and violence in that half of the twentieth century. Gunpowder reached her in her childhood, but not that of Violence, but that of a flare that burned her body. From a very young age he forged a character that was a cerrero, when he had to overcome adversity, and sweet in dealing with people. She was in bed and her father accompanied her daily to feed her or read her a book. Just reading opened his mind and even his father would be surprised with the simple erudition of the daughter, that feature of wisdom that lies in explaining with humor and simplicity the transcendental issues of politics, history and religion.

Silvia was enrolled in the La Presentation de Bucaramanga school and from there began her thought revolution against dogmas. The first criticized was that of the nuns of his school. They, as Silvia herself recalled, did not allow the boys to bathe in the same pool of the students, because their conventual “wisdom” proclaimed that the sperm swam and then could get them pregnant. That did not like Silvia anything, whose iron criticism became the gestation of a black sheep that, in the words of her friend Enrique Ogliastri, was always “very rightly against machismo and authoritarianism.”

Before the bombings, journalism
Silvia married very young, as was the way of that sixties. From that union were born his two children: Sebastian and Alexandra. With 30 years and being a mother, he made a decision that was not well seen by “the people of good”: he entered the university. In those decades, that possibility was denied to almost all women sentenced to marriage, but a black sheep was not going to bend; That is why she herself recorded her academic profile: “she graduated in Political Science at the Universidad de los Andes, but very soon she went astray towards journalism, literature and history; As she is a fan of doubt, she does not belong to any political party or religious association and cannot wear a uniform by medical prescription. ”

Doubting is one of the maxims of journalism, but Silvia cultivated many more; as, for example, to take advantage of its position of economic privilege to criticize the country’s elite justly, as it did with former president López Michelsen. To one of her close friends, she wrote a blunt paragraph about those political movements that have never sat at the same table of ethics and social responsibility that she did.

This is how Silvia saw politics: “politicians and political parties are all the same, and if they are not at the beginning, they end up being […] Never forget that, which is why here they discredit so quickly, starting with the MRL of López Michelsen, the main opponent of the National Front that ended when López accepted the position of Foreign Minister to Lleras Restrepo, his most bitter enemy. And from there, he begins to do the inventory of rebels with cause, but hungry for power. ”

Critics of this type forced the father to apologize to López Michelsen himself and that episode was picked up by the aforementioned Ogliastri: “Many years later Silvia would tell me that her father had called López Michelsen to excuse himself as a friend for the strong criticism that he Silvia had done in her column. “Don’t worry, Alejandro,” Lopez replied, “all families have a black sheep.”

Silvia’s critical bombs were forged precisely in a violent context that accompanied the entire Colombian 20th century. Just at age seven, on January 10, 1953, the family newspaper suffered a three-bomb attack. The country was a boiler and the gag against freedom of expression expanded as the prelude to the military coup of Rojas Pinilla. However, La Vanguardia Liberal published a message of journalistic battle: “WE ARE HERE!” With that headline they circulated two days after the attack.

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