A Shot in the Cathedral


by Mario Bencastro
English Translation by Susan Giersbach Rascón

ISBN: 978-1-55885-164-1
Published: June 30, 1996
Bind: Clothbound
Pages: 215

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When Rogelio Villaverde finds himself destitute and desperate for employment, he leaps at the chance for work with The Tribune, a small newspaper in San Salvador.  The jumbled pieces of his life begin to fall neatly into place with his new job and a new love interest, Lourdes. But the military coup d’etat in El Salvador brings curfews and the establishment of martial law upon the city. Rogelio’s work with the newspaper plunges him into the political melee, where he is forced to discard his political ambivalence and take a position.  He can no longer remain indifferent in the face of the chaos that has overtaken the lives of everyone around him.  His anti-government sentiments peak with the assassination of Archbishop Romero and the aftermath, when soldiers opened fire on the throngs of mourners.Rogelio’s first instinct is to escape the madness and accompany his boss and friend into exile.  But destiny takes another radical twist, and chilling events seal Rogelio’s fate.  He is compelled to remain and join the struggle for justice and freedom in his homeland. More than a political novel, A Shot in the Cathedral is a tribute to the endurance of the human spirit.  Its protagonists are ordinary people who strive to live ordinary lives in the midst of dangerous and oppressive circumstances.Not a propagandistic or partisan view of the strife, A Shot in the Cathedral is remarkable for its sensitivity, restraint and poetic vision of the tragic and inhuman events and actions that polarized not only the people of El Salvador but also those of the United States, Latin America and Europe.