Colombia: February 24, 2000

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President Pastranas has promised to restrain the right wing militias that have killed hundreds of people and attracted the unwanted attention of human rights groups and other NGOs. (which can also stop foreign aid from getting through the legislature of countries like the United States.) Stopping the militias will be difficult, as they appeared as a reaction of the rural upper and middle class families trying to defend themselves from the leftist rebels and general band banditry. The government has been unable to provide security in the countryside, so the locals with initiative and guns try to do it themselves. This is further complicated by the fact that the army and the militias have a common enemy in the rebels, bandits and drug lords. So the militia and local army units often coordinate their efforts.

 

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