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A godsend in Macho land

As chief correspondent Mexico and Central America, I was somewhat bemused at Colin McSeveny when he first arrived in Mexico in the early 1980s to join the bureau. His spoken Spanish in his lilting Scottish brogue seemed out of place in Macho land.


But he proved to be a godsend. He had a questioning mind, a nose for news and a stubborn drive to ferret it out. He was always the first to volunteer to fly to hotspots in the region, and there were many as civil wars raged in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.


Colin said his number one rule when drinking in a bar in Guatemala was not to ask for “Cuba libra”. He said a foreign correspondent who asked for the rum and coke cocktail was virtually ostracised and forced to gulp his drink in a hurry to get out.


Apart from being a colleague, Colin was a good friend. He stood as a proxy godfather at the baptism of my son in 1982. My deepest condolences to his wife Lesley and their two children.  ■