The Assassination of Gaitán
ASSASSINATION THEORIESDelusional GunmanINVESTIGATION OF RICARDO JORDAN JIMÉNEZ
SCOTLAND YARD INVESTIGATION
THE INTELLIGENCE FAILURE
It will be obvious that if Roa's mental condition and attitude towards Dr. Gaitán had developed to a point when it needed only inducement by two strangers to precipitate him into murder, it had equally developed to a point when it required no such inducement. A fortiori, we dismiss, on the evidence before us, as untenable any theory that any contact which the two Cubans may have had with Roa was part of any premeditated conspiracy, designed by the Communist Party before their entry into the country. Roa would appear to have been a most unsuitable tool for such a plot, there is no evidence of his having had any previous truck with the Communists, and his act in shooting Dr. Gaitán in the locality where he did was virtually one of suicide. Moreover, the behaviour of the Cubans, as established, before the murder and, as alleged, after it was scarcely that of men privy to a desperate plot demanding the utmost secrecy and reticence. Investigation of Sir Norman Smith of Scotland Yard, July 8, 1948 [document provided by Maria Valencia]
The personal-revenge theory is based upon one or the other of two hypotheses: (1) that Gaitán had obtained on April 8, 1948 the acquittal of a member of the Colombian armed forces accused of murdering one of Roa's relatives some years before and that Roa had acted in retaliation; or (2) that Roa was a bastard son of Gaitán's father, that there had been recent trouble between the two families, and that Gaitán's father had made a settlement upon Roa's mother only a month before the assassination. Communist Involvement in the Colombian Riots of April 9, 1948, Office of Intelligence Research (OIR) Report 4696, US State Dept., October 14, 1948
[CIA Director] Hillenkoetter. Gaitan was killed by a man named Hose Sierra. [sic]
Mr. Brown: May I ask who Sierra is?
Admiral Hillenkoetter. Sierra was a nephew of an army officer who was killed in 1938. This army officer's name is Cortes.
Mr. Brown. It was purely personal revenge?
Admiral Hillenkoetter. Yes, it was an act of reprisal.
Mr. Brown. The Committee will stand adjourned.
Functions of Central Intelligence Agency, Closed-door hearing of the House Subcommittee of the Committee on Expenditures, April 15, 1948
Though the motive for the assassination may never be definitely established (owing to the immediate lynching of the assassin, Juan ROA Sierra), no reliable evidence has been produced to date to indicate the murder was prompted by anything other than personal motives of vengeance.Bogotá, Colombia, Uprising of April 1948, Intelligence Research Project 4282, US State Dept., May 13, 1948
The "Conservative conspiracy" theory is based upon the contention that Gaitán himself was involved in a plot to create disturbances and possibly a coup, believed to be planned for May 1, 1948. Details of the proposed revolt allegedly planned by Gaitán are not clear, but there is some evidence indicating a connection with the alleged efforts of Dr. Antonio García, Director of the Institute of Economic Sciences at the National University, to bring about a social revolution in Colombia. García, also a member of the Board of Directors of the Colombo-Soviet Cultural Institute and formerly professor of political economy at the Escuela Superior de Guerra (War College), not only acted as an advisor to Gaitán and his closest associates on political matters but also reportedly exercised considerable influence over officers of the Colombian army, some of whom had studied under him. A CIA informant asserted that García's plans called for a spectacular break in friendship between himself and Gaitán and for García to obtain through Army influence the portfolio of Minister of War. Once this had been accomplished, an armed revolt was to be launched within a few days, which, in the words of García, would destroy "the bland reactionary and oligarchic government which has been restored in Colombia". It was also alleged that the group had stores of arms, explosives, and uniforms, that planes and artillery could be obtained from the Venezuelan government through García's influence, and that García was acting as an intermediary between Gaitán, on the one hand, and members of the Soviet Legation in Bogotá and Colombian Communist party leaders, on the other. According to this informant a small band of extremist Conservatives, possibly Laureano Gómez, then director of the Conservative Party, Colonel Virgilio Barco, then Chief of Police of Bogotá, and José Antonio Montalvo, then Minister of Justice and former Minister of of Government learned of this evidence and, in an effort to forestall this revolutionary threat, prevailed upon Roa Sierra to carry out the assassination of Gaitán. This information has not been confirmed by other sources and therefore its credibility is still questionable. Communist Involvement in the Colombian Riots of April 9, 1948, Office of Intelligence Research (OIR) Report 4696, US State Dept., October 14, 1948
Carlos Luis PEREZ, designated by the Liberal Party as lawyer for Mrs. Gaitán, is ardently pro-Soviet, and an official of the Colombo-Soviet Institute. A police agent, (member of the Security Police) said he and Antonio GARCIA are Communist agents within the leftist forces of the Gaitanista movement.Memorandum from William Wieland to Ambassador Beaulac, April 27, 1948
The theory which holds most water, based on all known factors, is that ROA executed a plan evolved by a small conspiracy of rabid Conservatives, possibly Laureano GOMEZ, Colonel Virgilio BARCO (Chief of Police), and Jose Antonio MONTALVO; among other reasons advanced for Conservatives planning such a deed in the midst of the Pan American Conference, which it would appear they would not want to disturb, is the moderately well-indicated fact that GAITAN had plans for creating disturbances and perhaps a coup at an early date, generally fixed as 1 May, and that these Conservatives thought there would be much less danger in a protest movement provoked before preparations were complete and without GAITAN's leadership than in a revolutionary movement headed by GAITAN. Answering Specific Questions of Intelligence Officer, Caribbean Sea Frontier, Regarding Rioting in Colombia on 9 April 1948, Office of Naval Intelligence, May 24, 1948 [document provided by Douglas Osher Sofer]
The theory that the Communists were involved in the assassination is based on the fact that they had made, far in advance, plans to sabotage and discredit the activities of the International Conference of American States, to molest several of the delegations, principally that of the US, and to embarrass the administration of President Ospina while the Conference was in progress. Communist Involvement in the Colombian Riots of April 9, 1948, Office of Intelligence Research (OIR) Report 4696, US State Dept., October 14, 1948
There are enclosed editorials from El Siglo of April 11, 12 and 13, entitled respectively, "And the Admiral?" ¿Y El Almirante?, El Siglo, April 11, 1950 , "Mister A.G." Mister A. G., El Siglo, April 12, 1950 and "The Conspiracy of the Misters". La Conspiracion de los Misteres, El Siglo, April 13, 1950 In each of these articles there is developed the thesis that Gaitán was conspiring with "international agents of Moscow" in preparation for a Liberal uprising to take place in Bogotá during the Panamerican Conference: that when Gaitán was forced to make a public statement regarding the attack on the Ecuadoran Ambassador, he chose to repudiate this attack and any other attempt to disturb the Conference, and was eliminated by his own fellow Liberals and the Communists, who alone stood to gain from a popular uprising at that time. El Siglo uses the statements made by Admiral Hillenkoetter in an attempt to show that the Liberal investigators deliberately overlooked these clues for fear of implicating their own party and revealing the then existing collaboration between the Liberal party and international Communism. The Department will note that El Siglo has in every case quoted accurately the statements of Admiral Hillenkoetter, but it also will recall that his statements were based on unconfirmed intelligence reports, some of which now appear not to have been true. Continued Insistence in Conservative Press Regarding Importance of United States Intelligence Reports on Assassination of Gaitán, April 17, 1950
Urdaneta recalled that a few days before the Bogotazo he had a private lunch with Gaitan. the latter told him of the strong pressure which the Communists had brought to bear on him to help them disrupt the Conference. Gaitan told him that he could never do anything which would discredit Colombia. Had Gaitan not been assassinated, Urdaneta believes, it would have been impossible to arouse the masses to violence. Memorandum of Conversation with Roberto Urdaneta Arbalaez, November 20, 1959
The informant has "excellent connections in the National Police." Judging by what I have read about the National Police I would consider any information coming from that body to be about as prejudiced and tendentious as any information coming from Colombian sources could be. I knew Plinio Mendoza Neira when he was Minister in Costa Rica and later when he was a genial wine merchant in Bogotá. I cannot picture him in a villainous role. Speculation regarding Gaitán's assassination, May 16, 1950
It will be recalled that El Siglo began its series of articles on this subject on the occasion of the second anniversary of April 9. At first it attempted to show that international Communists had been responsible for the murder of Gaitán and the organized rioting and destruction which followed. Later it accused the Venezuelan Party, Acción Democrática, of being involved in the subversive plans of the Communists. Beginning on April 20 a new phase of the campaign developed with an editorial entitled "The Cubans and the Gaitán Crime". Los Cubanos y el Crímen de Gaitán, El Siglo, April 20, 1950, Nos fugamos con nombres falsos Dicen los Estudiantes Cubanos, El Siglo, April 29, 1950 In this series of articles the paper accused certain Cuban students, members of the Federación Estudiantil Universitaria (FEU), which it called a Cuban Communist organization, of leading some of the attacks and directing one of the groups which set fire to the Foreign Registration Office of the National Police. The names of the Cubans receiving specific mention were Enrique OVARES, Alfredo GUEVARA, Fidel CASTRO and Rafael del PINO. One interesting item in these revelations was the allegation that the then Cuban Minister in Colombia, Sr. Carlos TABERNILLA y Dolz, assisted these students in departing from Cuba under false names aboard a Cuban plane which had arrived in Bogotá on April 8 for the purpose of transporting bulls to Cuba, and which departed on April 13 from El Techo airport. This publication brought forth a letter of protest from the present Cuban Cargé d'Affaires, which was published in both El Tiempo and El Siglo on April 24. El Siglo Continues Campaign Regarding Responsibility for Gaitan's Assassination and Disturbances of April 9, May 26, 1950
INVESTIGATION OF RICARDO JORDAN JIMÉNEZ
On April 19, it was reported, Judge Simón MONTERO Torres, who is in charge of the investigation, addressed the Ministry of Justice requesting the assignment of additional justices and investigative personnel, as well as adequate office space and equipment in order to permit the rapid completion of his work. This request was granted and all papers have reported subsequently the assignment of the two additional justices and six auxiliary investigators. In addition, it has been reported that the Chief of the Judicial Vigilance Section of the Ministry of Justice, Alberto DUARTE French, has been authorized to check on the activities of the entire investigating staff. El Siglo Continues Campaign Regarding Responsibility for Gaitan's Assassination and Disturbances of April 9, May 26, 1950
The Ministry of Foreign Relations presents its compliments to the Honorable Embassy of the United States of America, and has the honor to inform it that, in the summary investigation of the facts relative to the death of Dr. Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, the Investigating Magistrate has asked this office to obtain whatever information in the matter the Honorable Embassy may have. Consequently, the Ministry of Foreign Relations takes the liberty of requesting the Honorable Embassy of the United States of America to be so kind as to furnish it with all the information it may possess relative to the offense committed against the person of Dr. Jorge Eliécer Gaitán.Colombian Government asks Embassy Officially What it Knows about Gaitan's Murder, June 8, 1948
Ricardo Jordan Jimenez' letters rogatory to authorities in San Jose for documents held by Rosicrucian Order AMORC, July 13, 1948
Authorities Arrest Suspected Companion of Gaitan's Killer, August 31, 1948
The Liberal press has replied to the attacks of El Siglo along party lines, and in considerable volume. Only with regard to the original handling of the investigation by Dr. Ricardo JORDAN Jiménez did any of the Liberal papers disagree. La Jornada on April 11 published an article headed "The Gaitan Case was Filed Away a Year Ago," El Expediente de Gaitán se Archivó Hace un Año, La Jornada, April 11, 1950 in which it criticized rather bluntly the manner in which Dr. Jordan managed the investigation during the three months immediately following the assassination. El Espectador, on April 13, "El Asesinato de Gaitán Fue un Hecho Aislado," El Espectador, April 13, 1950 published an interview with Dr. Jordan replying to these assertions, in which he declared that on the basis of his investigation he felt "the assassination of Gaitán was an isolated act." Both La Jornada and El Tiempo on April 14 El Juez No Comparte el Criterio de Jordan, El Tiempo, April 14, 1950 disputed this view, with El Tiempo citing the opinion of Judge Francisco de J. GUZMAN, to whom Jordan referred the case in accordance with Colombian law. Continued Insistence in Conservative Press Regarding Importance of United States Intelligence Reports on Assassination of Gaitán, April 17, 1950
SCOTLAND YARD INVESTIGATION
Investigation of Sir Norman Smith of Scotland Yard, July 8, 1948 [19 pages, document provided by Maria Valencia]
Scotland Yard investigaría sobre los sucesos del Nueve de Abril, June 10, 1948
As the police force in COLOMBIA is considered a semi-military organization, the securing of this British mission is believed to be in violation ofthe terms of the contract with teh U.S. MILITARY MISSION to Colombia. Although the police force is under ENCHANDIA, Minister of Government, it is believed that the new SECURITY POLICE will be used privately by both parties to report on the internal political situation of Colombia. This mission will, no doubt, also be used to investigate the assassination of GAITAN.British Police Mission Arrives in Colombia, June 22, 1948
British Mission to Examine Investigation of Gaitan's Assassination and to Re-Organize Police, June 30, 1948
Colombia Pressing British to Send Police Mission, August 20, 1948
THE INTELLIGENCE FAILURE
Admiral Hillenkoetter. Gaitan was killed by a man named Hose Sierra. [sic] Mr. Brown. May I ask who Sierra is? Admiral Hillenkoetter. Sierra was a nephew of an army officer who was killed in 1938. This army officer's name is Cortes. Mr. Brown. It was purely personal revenge? Admiral Hillenkoetter. Yes, it was an act of reprisal. Mr. Brown. The Committee will stand adjourned.Functions of Central Intelligence Agency, Closed-door hearing of the House Subcommittee of the Committee on Expenditures, April 15, 1948
MR. WHITE: I have been asked a number of questions on the basis of these news stories from the Hill, concerning the testimony of Rear Admiral R. H. Hillenkoetter. All I want to say on that subject is that, as Mr. Lovett told you on Wednesday, we have had various reports from the Embassy in Bogota, dating back through mid-December, forecasting demonstrations of one kind or another ...Memorandum of the Press and Radio News Conference, Thursday, April 15, 1948, 7 P.M.
Permitting what was perhaps the first authorized publication in United States history of top-secret intelligence documents, Admiral Hillenkoetter gave to the subcommittee excerpts from many other intelligence messages that had reached the State Department directly. Marshall Scoffed at Early Warnings on Reds in Bogota, The New York Times, April 16, 1948
The intelligence director insisted that "we did know of unrest in Colombia, that we did know there was a possibility of violence and outbreaks aimed primarily at embarrassing the American delegation and its leaders, and that the information was transmitted to officials of the Department of State. One message, on January 29, quoted "Mr. G., a leading Colombian Columnist," as boasting that he could count on planes and artillery when necessary to overthrow the government, and said the Communists had stored arms, explosives and uniforms like those of the Colombia Army. The "Mr. G." was reported to be the intermediary between the Soviet Embassy the the liberal leader, Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, "to whom he furnished money supposedly for his liberal movement." Another message, dated March 10, said "Mr. S., an official of a Latin American country in Bogota, aided Gaitanistas in bringing contraband arms into Colombia for a revolutionary coup," and had urged Gaitan's followers "to stike the blow as soon as possible." Hillenkoetter was emphatic, however, in saying Gaitan's assassination was "purely personal reprisal."Marshall Knew Riots Likely, House Unit is Told, Washington Post, April 16, 1948
Hillenkoetter leyó a los miembros de la subcomisión párrafos de los despachos enviados por los agentes del Servicio de Inteligencia en Colombia acerca de los planes comunistas para provocar perturbaciones durante las deliberaciones de la conferencia, y dijo que con una sola excepción, todos esos despachos habían sido enviados a los correspondientes funcionarios del Departament de Estado.Revelan los planes de los Comunistas, La Mañana, Montevideo, 16 de Abril, 1948
Press Service Dispatches Regarding Admiral Hillenkoetter's Testimony Concerning Bogotá Situation, April 16, 1948
This article refers to statements made by Rear Admiral Roscoe H. HILLENKOETTER head of the Central Intelligence Agency, and concludes from Hillenkoetter's remarks that Wall Street is directly to blame for Gaitán's death. The editorial focuses attention on the revelation of an American intelligence organization in Latin America as illustrated by disclosures following the Bogotá disorders.El disparo que asesino a Gaitán fue dirigido desde Wall Street, U. S. Embassy, La Paz, describing article and editorial in Voz Obrera, April 19, 1948
It seems reasonably certain, not only from the uprising in Colombia but from the condition of the conference before it was interrupted, that the Administration, though it had warning of trouble, had not made a successful diagnosis of the trouble. It seems to have fixed its attention on the "Communist-inspired agitators," and not on the deep and violent popular unrest which was boiling up just under the surface. It is a mistake to expect, and foolish of Admiral Hillenkoetter to talk as if we had a right to expect, the Central Intelligence Agency to appraise the situation in Colombia and South America. That was the business of the President and Admiral Leahy, of Secretary Marshall, and Mr. Armour, after they had studied Admiral Hillenkoetter's reports and the State Department's reports. To suppose that an intelligence agency can make these final judgements is in effect to say that the intelligence agency could be not only the eyes and the ears, but also the brains of the Government. There never was, and there never will be, such an intelligence agency.The Bogota Intelligence, by Walter Lippmann, The New York Herald Tribune, April 20, 1948
I am at a loss to understand approval of a public airing in open session of the accusations and allegations in conection with intelligence reports on the recent disturbances here. In addition to furnishing international Communists with the finest type of propaganda, it has completely "blown the cover" of our CIA people here in Colombia and, I am sure, to almost the same degree, generally in Latin America and perhaps throughout the world.Martel 83 from Marshall to Lovett, April 21, 1948
Hillenkoetter's public airing came as a distinct shock to us and we had no intimation prior to the fact that such a move was contemplated. Subsequent investigation indicates, however, that his public statement had the approval of Leahy and Forrestal. Hearing scheduled for today has been postponed. Have not yet ascertained reason for postponement but suspect that conversations that Mr. Lovett had with Congressmen Andrews, Wadsworth and Taber contributed to it. All of the above-mentioned Congressmen deplored the public airing. ... Mr. Lovett had already taken the initiative to have drafted a Presidential directive which would "preserve the confidential character of foreign intelligence activities."Telmar 101, April 22, 1948
[News] stories appearing during past year regarding US intelligence activities hold us up to ridicule by our friends and enemies alike. Such publicity not only seriously damaging security interests but undermines effectiveness all activities.Telegram from US Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay, April 22, 1948
I have the honor to enclose an article which appeared in El Siglo May 25 En EE.UU. si Saben por que se Dió Muerte a Jorge E. Gaitán, El Siglo, May 25, 1950 quoting a letter published the day before in El País (Cali) from Sr. Bernardo ZULETA Torres, son of the present Colombian Ambassador to the United States. In his letter Sr. Zuleta implies that the United States Intelligence Service possesses information concerning the responsibility for Gaitán's assassination, and suggests that if a request were made to the United States Government it would be possible to obtain the names of the persons implicated in the assassination. He reviews information previously published concerning the United States congressional investigation of the April 9 disturbances in order to arrive at the above conclusion. He attaches particular importance to the statement of Admiral HILLENKOETTER to the effect that the United States Intelligence Service "is sufficiently informed" of the motives for the assassination of the Liberal leader. ... [The] Ambassador's son implies that the full content of these declarations was not furnished to the Colombian Government in reply to its letters rogatory.El Siglo Continues Campaign Regarding Responsibility for Gaitan's Assassination and Disturbances of April 9, May 26, 1950
As dramatic an event as the bogotazo was in the first year of the Agency's history, it is difficult, twenty years later, to point with confidence to any specific impact on the course of affairs. Admiral Hillenkoetter was convinced that the Agency's record of warning was a good one, and a number of critics were disarmed by his testimony. Yet some within the Agency appear to have reacted as if the Bogota affair had indeed been an intelligence failure, or at the least a warning of institutional vulnerability to charges of not having adequately forecast one or another crisis. The bogotazo thus appears to have been one event - perhaps a pivotal early event - that led to a strong emphasis in reporting upon "beating the newspapers" on any story of crisis involving Communists. One veteran observer speaks of a "Bogota syndrome" - that is, an extraordinary concern with early warning of crises and emphasis on the Communist angle.Distant Events shape the Craft of Intelligence: The Bogotazo, by Jack Davis, "Studies in Intelligence," Volume 13, Fall 1969 [CIA publication]
It is established now that one José Sierra killed Gaitan because he had successfully defended in court that morning the murderer of Sierra's uncle.The Central Intelligence Agency, An Instrument of Government, to 1950, by Arthur B. Darling, CIA historian, Penn. State University Press, 1990, pp. 240-244.
Identification of the Murderer
Along with these accusations El Siglo published on April 28 Juan Roa Sierra nó Fue el Asesino de Gaitán, El Siglo, April 28, 1950 an interview with Dr. Roberto CARDONA Arias, prominent lawyer, in which he described a conversation he had in 1949 with a so-called Mexican newspaper reporter, José J. HURTADO. The latter, according to Dr. Cardona, exhibited credentials showing him to be an international Communist agent, and implied that he had known beforehand the plans for the assassination. Hurtado said in addition that he had witnessed the crIme from a second floor restaurant overlooking the site of the assassination, where he and certain friends had been waiting for an hour and a half prior to the crime. However, his most sensational declaration was to the effect that Juan ROA Sierra was not the actual assassin, but only a casual victim selected by the "companions" in order to misdirect popular indignation and thus permit the escape of the actual guilly persons. He added that Gaitán's assassin is still alive. It was subsequently pointed out in El Tiempo that other Liberal papers (and ultimately by El Siglo itself) that Hurtado is an "international Apache" and confidence man who has been sought for a long time by the Colombian police for swindles perpetrated immediately following the April 9 riots. In addition these papers revealed that Hurtado was not a Mexican but a Venezuelan who had been deported from the latter country for various crimes.
Once embarked on this new tack El Siglo followed up with two additional articles on May 1 El Linchado no fue el Asesino del Dr. Gaitán, El Siglo, May 1, 1950 (hard to read) and May 4 El Hombre que yo vi asesinando al Dr. Gaitán era distinto a Roa, El Siglo, May 4, 1950 attempting to corroborate the view that the assassin was not the person that was lynched by the mob on the afternoon of April 9. These articles took the form of delcarations from witnesses of the assassination and of the subsequent events during which the supposed assassin was lynched. One of these witnesses, Julio Enrique SANTOS Forero, declared that he heard the shots fired from a distance of approximately 200 feet and arrived at the scene as the police were disarming the person who had fired the shots. He added that this person was wearing a brown suit while Roa, who he says was lynched, had on a gray suit. The other witness, Alejandro VALLEJO, who was said to have been accompanying Gaitán at the time of the assassination, declared that the assassin had freckles or spots on his face, whereas Roa did not, according to photographs, have this characteristic. During this series the Liberal press, led by El Tiempo, continued to accuse El Siglo of trying to throw up a smoke screen to mislead the persons conducting the official investigation. They took particular exception to the accusations against the Cuban Minister, characterizing these veiled accusations as a gratuitous insult to a friendly government. The most objective article in the series appeared in El Espectador on May 4. Hasta la Saciedad se ha Comprobado que Roa Sierra fue el Asesino de Gaitán, El Espectador, May 4, 1950 This article reviewed in detail all the steps taken in the official investigation and claimed that it had been more than amply proved that Juan Roa Sierra was the assassin. Concurrently with the above press campaign and counter-campaign there have appeared in the local press further articles concerning the conduct of the official investigation. El Siglo Continues Campaign Regarding Responsibility for Gaitan's Assassination and Disturbances of April 9, May 26, 1950
Questions about National Police
In addition to accusing El Siglo of attempting to deceive public opinion, Liberal papers brought out the following principal points to counter the Conservative argument: 1) authorization for social security payments to one Ismael ROA Sierra accruing by reason of service in the National Police (it is claimed that Ismael and Juan Roa are the same, and it is pointed out that the National Police were controlled by the Conservative Administration prior to April 9), 2) the number of the revolver used by Roa, which corresponded to one confiscated shortly prior to April 9 by the National Police, and 3) evidence that Conservative Administration detectives were at one time conducting a separate investigation behind the back of the judge officially charged with the investigation. Other minor points are brought out, referring mainly to letters warning Gaitán of impending danger, or incendiary articles in provincial papers threatening the life of Gaitán. It is perhaps worth mentioning that the Liberal papers, in attempting to implicate the Conservative Party through the National Police, overlook the fact that the National Police revolted en masse in the course of the disturbances of April 9. With regard to the information obtained from United States sources, only El Espectador made a direct reply to the assertions of El Siglo. In an article on April 12 entitled "What was the Contribution of the United States to the Proceedings Regarding the Ninth of April?", Cuál Fue el Aporte de los EE. UU. al Proceso Sobre el Nueve de Abril, El Espectador, April 12, 1950 it gave a detailed review of the reply by the United States Government to the letters rogatory presented by the Colombian Embassy in Washington. It will be recalled that the reply quoted the testimony of the former Polish Military Attaché in Washington, Lt. General Isidor MODELSKY. El Espectador also mentioned the letters supplicatory addressed by the investigating judge to Dr. Laureano Goméz, to which the latter replied in effect that he only knew what he read in the newspapers, but that since the source of such information had been the secret services of the United States, he thought the information trustworthy. Continued Insistence in Conservative Press Regarding Importance of United States Intelligence Reports on Assassination of Gaitán, April 17, 1950
The editorial brings out some details that I have never seen mentioned in so positive a fashion, at least) since Gaitan's assassination took place: Dr. Jordan Jimenez, who conducted the original investigation, made a farce of it; The Chief of the Decective Bureau conducted a parallel investigation at the same time, apparently to protect his own staff; As a final complication, a Scotland Yard Commission was contracted, "which without sufficient elements on which to base a judgement, decided simply that Juan Roa Sierra had been the assassin; Roa Sierra was a pseudo-Falangist; had distributed propaganda for the Nazis and the German Embassy; was a militant agent for sectarian groups, "a blind instrument for those interested in halting Gaitan's career"; On his body were found documents, including letters of recommendation from prominent politicians. These were not used in the investigation for the purpose of establishing a motive for the slaying; Roa's revolver, with which he dealt Gaitan three mortal wounds, was a revolver of the National Police. This was a mere detail to the investigators, and not pursued.SABADO Urges That an Investigation be Reopened into the Murder of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, July 27, 1956
Formation of Gaitanista Party Announced in New Weekly Publication La Hora, July 14, 1950
Conservative Press Accuses Venezuelan Political Party, Accion Democratica, of Complicity in April 9 Disturbances, April 20, 1950
Gaitan's murder and the identification of his assassin, April 28, 1948
Copyright Paul Wolf, 2002-2004