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| 6/21/2010 12:00:00 AM

Colombia's Army Shows Its Stuff

June 21--A dramatic hostage rescue reflects the military's increasing professionalism.

Colombia's Army Shows Its Stuff Colombia's Army Shows Its Stuff
Colombians were overjoyed last week with the news that the army had rescued four hostages—including a police brigadier general—held for almost 12 years in the jungle by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
 
The triumph—just a week before yesterday's runoff presidential election—was fortuitous for U Party candidate Juan Manuel Santos, who is President Alvaro Uribe's former defense minister. During Mr. Santos's defense-ministry tenure from 2006-2009, the Colombian military scored several decisive victories against the FARC. Those events were crucial for a country that only a decade ago was considered nearly a failed state. And as expected, Mr. Santos defeated Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus in a landslide.

Yet the success of Operation Chameleon, as the army's rescue was dubbed, carries profound significance that goes well beyond election results. It inflicts major damage on the FARC's global propaganda campaign against the Colombian military and provides new revelations about the rebels' ruthlessness. What was learned in this spectacular liberation also reflects badly on leading Democrats in Washington who've been sympathetic to the FARC line.
 
When the freed men went before television cameras they were still wearing the shackles around their necks that the FARC had used to tie them to trees at night. Those chains are but a symbol of the cruelty the hostages experienced. Their treatment was despicable. Yet in 2008 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi welcomed the FARC's most notorious ally in Colombian politics, Senator Piedad Córdoba, to her congressional chambers in Washington. Aside from palling around with the terrorists' favorite politician, Mrs. Pelosi has displayed her animus toward the Colombian government by blocking approval of the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement.
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.

EDICIÓN 1861

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Prieto en la mira

La imputación de cargos al exgerente de la campaña de Santos sorprendió. Pero esta no tiene que ver con el escándalo de Odebrecht ni con la financiación de las campañas. ¿Por qué?

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