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| 4/16/2009 12:00:00 AM

Colombia's Alvaro Uribe -- return of the South American strongman?

The Colombian president threatens to tarnish his nation's democratic traditions by jockeying for a third term. - LOS ANGELES TIMES -

Riding in a taxi in the coastal Colombian city of Cartagena some months ago, I was chatting with a Colombian colleague about whether the country's president, Alvaro Uribe, should be allowed to run for an unprecedented third term. Abruptly, our taxi driver turned and interjected: "You don't know what it was like here before Uribe. Taxi drivers like me were attacked and assaulted all the time. Now we have security."

His passionate, spontaneous testimony reflects a common sentiment in a country that has witnessed a dramatic turnaround in its security situation and high economic growth under Uribe's take-charge leadership. Even his critics acknowledge the decrease in violence, including a 40% drop in homicides and an 80% drop in kidnappings between 2002 and 2007. The very real fear that the state would be overwhelmed by violent guerrilla and paramilitary groups has faded since Uribe took office in 2002.
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more at our home.
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EDICIÓN 1829

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Gran encuesta presidencial

Vargas Lleras arranca fuerte, Petro está estancado, Fajardo tiene cómo crecer y los partidos tradicionales andan rezagados. Entre los uribistas, Ramos se ve fuerte. Y Santos tiene 35 por ciento de aceptación. Gran encuesta de Invamer para Caracol Televisión, Blu Radio y SEMANA.