War Returns to Colombia’s Countryside

A police officer walks by the wreckage of a car bomb that exploded near a police station in Padilla, Cauca, Colombia, Feb.6 2022 (AP photo by Andres Gonzalez).
A police officer walks by the wreckage of a car bomb that exploded near a police station in Padilla, Cauca, Colombia, Feb.6 2022 (AP photo by Andres Gonzalez).
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SARAVENA, Colombia—On Jan. 19, Sonia Lopez was working late in the office of the Joel Sierra Foundation, a human rights group based in the city Saravena, Colombia, just south of the Venezuelan border. It was hot and muggy, and she was exhausted. Normally, she wouldn’t have been working so late, but intense conflict between armed groups in the department of Arauca, where Saravena is located, had left 83 dead and more than 2,000 displaced since early January, putting a premium on her organization’s work. At 10:45 p.m., shots rang out. Armed men had fired pistols from two cars approaching the […]

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