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El Salado, the myth of Philomela, and “a universal spirit”

Summary:
In Bogotá last month, two Colombian teenagers taught a classroom of educators (and one journalist) about a massacre in El Salado, a small rural town where paramilitary troops murdered at least 60 people in February 2000.It was mildly unnerving to watch teenagers calmly discuss mass murder, rape and soccer games played with severed heads. Especially because the 16-year-olds — who were both named Andrés, and said they were cousins — were not alive at the time of the violence, and gave the presentation in their second language.“How do you say ‘guerrillas’?” asked Andrés #1, a self-assured speaker who wore an earring. (The answer was, of course, “guerrillas”.) They later found out that “paramilitary” is an English cognate as well, which speaks to a bleak fact: Latin America has become so

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In Bogotá last month, two Colombian teenagers taught a classroom of educators (and one...

Alexandra Scaggs
Alexandra Scaggs is a markets reporter for the Wall Street Journal in New York. She writes about the U.S. stock market and investment trends. She also covers the business of markets research, writing on the calls, personalities and moves of high-profile analysts and strategists. Ms. Scaggs graduated from Washington & Lee University with a degree in business journalism.

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