The Huffington Post | 11/2/2010 12:00:00 AM
Colombia, U.S. Leaders Talk Cooperation While Community Leaders Continue to Die
November 2--Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and an unprecedented host of high-level U.S. officials visited Colombia on October 24 and 25. One positive outcome was the establishment of a "human rights and good governance working group" between the U.S. and Colombian governments.
Take a deep breath, Deputy Steinberg. If all is going so well in Colombia, why are so many community leaders still dying?
It's true there's a welcome change of tone with the new government of Juan Manuel Santos, defense minister under previous president Alvaro Uribe. The government speaks respectfully with human rights and union leaders -- rather than calling them terrorists and putting their lives at risk. Vice President Angelino Garzón's recent denunciation of a death threat to community and rights groups was on target. And the introduction of bills to return land to displaced persons and provide restitution to victims, including at least some victims of government abuses, marks a departure from the long, hard years of Uribe's reign.
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