late 60s & 70’s- a world gone mad or an un announced WW III?

Reading The Nation’s article “Heroic Impatience” by Diego Gambetta about the Baader Meinhof Gang or RAF; I couldn’t help but recall those years. I was too young to voice my opinion, if I had any at the time they were colored by the life that surrounded me. But the images that came back from that time are most certainly clear and fresh. I had been recently ‘shipped’ to Dominican Republic to study. My mother’s idea of saving me from the urban warfare in NYC.  She plump plopped me in the middle of chaos! Now years later, sitting with my boss over coffee discussing the things that went on during those years, all over the world, I know the world had gone mad.

I remember vividly leaving in the middle of class because at the near by UASD -Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo another set of tear gas bombs had gone off. Of running not knowing why, but knowing those were gun shots behind me. Of hearing my uncles quietly discussing the latest radio or tv black out- at the time I think there were only three or four channels. “Calla, o manana amaneces con la boca llena de mime”! Was an often harshly whispered threat or advice to university students and professors alike. “Keep your mouth shut, or tomorrow flies will fill your mouth”. My youngest uncles where I lived, were newly minted university professors. One was in the department of chemistry at ‘la UASD’. The other at UNFU -Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena, in the department of engineering. Their gatherings never held anywhere near the ‘galeria’ that might face the street and therefore a suspicious target for the ‘calie’ of Balaguer… That would definitely be your “disappearing ticket”.

The day that sticks out in my mind was the day I learned about Sagrario Diaz, an economics major at UASD; brutally shot in the head as she ran from another raid by the militarized police sent into the Campus to stop a protest rally. The police shot at her as she dived for the floor in one of the hallways trying to flee… It was, and is still a very sore spot in Dominican Republic and a symbol of what was happening in other parts of the world to university students alike. To this day I still get chills when I hear shots fired, shouting, running and cars screeching in the middle of the night…especially the running.

Below are the images that I found of those times, from every corner of the earth: USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Dominican, Republic Peru, Argentina, Spain, Europe, China, Vietnam, Middle East, Africa…

The world gone mad or was it an unannounced third World War?


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