5.02.2017

Journal, October 24, 1976 PM (continued)

Steve almost worships Dave. He thinks the key to Dave’s personality is that he is always completely self-assured and confident, partly because he is exceptionally intelligent. Thus Dave never wastes time questioning if he is doing the most productive thing, or making optimum use of his time. He just decides what’s to be done and does it. He’s tremendously energetic, bold and frank, all of which mean he gets a lot done! He detests inefficiency, laziness and social injustice, but doesn’t waste much time fretting over them. He notes them as obstacles and gets on about the task. Dave is amazing, & Steve may be as remarkable though he’s thoughtful and cautious, where Dave is blunt and damn-the-torpedoes. Steve’s acute insight concerning Dave makes me think he’s going to prove himself a very exceptional human being somewhere along the road.

Salvador Ticas has trafficked in marijuana and cocaine in Colombia, and traveled around the world working on ships. He also was Diego Cox’s counterpart in El Sauce for a year, and knew virtually all of the pastures and forages group stationed in the eastern zone. We chatted over beer last evening. He did most of the talking, striving as many people here do, to impress me with his worldliness and his genuine affection for Gringos {North Americans}. He was interesting to listen to though for he was not a drunk hanger-on, but a razor sharp, streetwise type. I want to note a couple views he expressed. The fact that he has traveled extensively, and been on both sides of the law (mostly operating in the vast gray area of the shady with an intense pragmatic self-interest and a personal morality) made me take more note of them than I otherwise would have. Ticas dislikes his native culture. He says his people are blind, not knowing how to treat each other or foreigners among them. He says all politics is the realm of the Mafia or just like the Mafia. He’s had first-hand dealings with the Mafia in the Colombian drug trade. He is convinced socialism is the only answer, at least for El Salvador, but knows the military and the rich are in control now, and that overt opposition is suicide.

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