The April Blaze
(El incendio de abril)
Amidst the chaos of rage and pain in the 1950 Colombian presidential elections, angry voices demand justice from every corner of Bogota for the murder of the liberal candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. In this second part of his Trilogía del 9 de abril, Torres continues what he began with the novel El crimen del siglo, in a dizzyingly intense narration told from the point of view of the crowd: the historian who watches Gaitán stagger after two shots are heard; the taxi driver who decides never to clean off the blood left by the dying man on the upholstery of his car; the priest praying for the wounded man’s death; policemen in civilian clothes among the hordes crying out for vengeance. The protagonists of the “Bogotazo” riots make their voices heard in this story that brings to life a dramatic episode in Colombia’s history.