Colombia: Dull But Successful


February11, 2007: Despite revelations that the government was cooperating with the AUC rebels (who were formed to rebel against leftist groups like FARC and ELN), the government maintains its popularity. The AUC connections were always an open secret anyway. Opinion polls give president Uribe a 73 percent approval rating (it was 77 percent last year, and 65 percent in 2003). The main reason for this is that the crime and death rates continue to come down, and the economy improves. Economic growth last year was up seven percent over the previous year.

The government plan; of training effective police and army units, and sending them after rebel controlled areas, is dull stuff. But it works. The rebels are reduced, in terms of territory controlled, manpower and income, month by month. Since the rebels sustained themselves by terrorizing civilians, when the rebels are gone, people are free to move about and take care of business. The economy flourishes as a result. Not flashy, but it works.


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