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Colombia Investigating Report of Banning of All but Catholic Worship in Province

A spokesman for the Colombian Embassy today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his government was investigating a report from Bogota that Col. Nestor Mesa Prieto, chief of the Caqueta Territory in Southeast Columbia, had banned all religious worship other than Roman Catholic.

The Embassy spokesman said that such discrimination was definitely a deviation from the government’s policy of religious freedom and that if the facts indicate such “irresponsible” action, the guilty party or parties “would not go unpunished.”

The Jewish community in Colombia, numbering about 6,000, was shocked about two years ago when an official decree ordered an investigation into the funds held by persons described as “Semites” who had entered Colombia since 1947. Several Jewish institutions protested at that time.