A lo anterior se suma la mentira con la que trataron de encubrir el accidente en el mar. Un minuto de silencio Esperaban que les ordenaran soltar la carga. Los tiburones llegan a las cinco En la tarde se presentaron los tiburones que merodeaban la balsa para alimentarse de los peces. Con la llegada de la noche le sobrevino el terror. Contemplaba la Osa Menor para sentirse menos solo.
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The story of Luis Alejandro Velasco is one of intense survival, as he was flung overboard from the destroyer Caldas with seven of his fellow seamen on February 28, The ship was traveling from Mobile, Alabama, in the United States, where it had docked for repairs, to the Colombian port of Cartagena, where it arrived two hours after the tragedy.
After four days, the search was abandoned and the lost sailors were officially declared dead. Velasco, however, found a raft and remained on the open sea without food and without hope. After drifting with sea currents for ten days, an emaciated Velasco arrives with his raft on a coast that he later discovers to be Colombia. He is received first with affection and later with military honors and much money from publicity agencies.
I asked Luis Alejandro Velasco to describe the storm that caused the disaster. The truth, unpublished until then, was that the destroyer was loaded with contraband. Not being able to withstand the weight of its cargo, the ship tossed in windy seas and dropped its ill-secured cargo and eight of its seamen into the sea.
Knowing that it was illegal to transport cargo on a destroyer, the journalists were in a dilemma, as Colombia was under the military and social dictatorship of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla and the press was heavily censored.
The story, divided into installments, ran for fourteen days. The government denied that the destroyer was loaded with contraband.
To back up the story, a special supplement was published one week after the publication of the series, containing photographic proof. The dictatorship countered the blow with a series of drastic reprisals that would result, months later, in the shutdown of the newspaper. In , Velasco sued for translation rights to the book and lost.
Gabriel García Márquez
“Relato de un náufrago…”
RELATO DE UN NáUFRAGO