Colombia’s Quest for Peace and Justice

Colombia is at a crossroads, and whether it finds the road to peace depends largely on the success of newly re-elected President Alvaro Uribe’s two-pronged strategy to end a decades-long internal armed conflict.

Uribe was re-elected in May largely because he seemed to be achieving success where so many of his predecessors had failed — in the fight against the country’s leftist guerrillas, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

At the same time, the newly enacted Justice and Peace Law is an attempt to get the country’s rightist paramilitaries, under the umbrella of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, to lay down their arms and face prosecution for their crimes.

In recent weeks, we’ve published a number of articles that provide insight into the fight against the AUC and FARC, the prospects for success, and the political stakes involved.

Today, Karen Juanita Carillo looks at the effect the government’s efforts against the AUC are having — and could have in the future — in one particular area of Colombia, the state of Chocó.

On Wednesday, Anastasia Moloney examined Uribe’s strategy against the AUC as a whole. That article is the third Moloney has written for WPR about Colombia. She has also written about the challenges Uribe will face in his next for years in office, and the United States’ effort to bolster Colombia’s security, known in Washington as Plan Colombia.

If you want to follow events in Colombia, these four articles would be a good place to start.

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