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| 3/5/2010 12:00:00 AM

Uribe checks out

Washington's most reliable ally in Latin America, the Colombian president, is on his way out. That's a good thing.

If a U.S. president spent both terms with approval ratings hovering above 70 percent, what would happen during his eighth year? Would his party use its majority control of Congress and the states to undo the 22nd Amendment, allowing him to run again ... and again? Would he be allowed to serve until he had handpicked the entire Supreme Court and wielded virtually unchecked power -- all so long as his ratings were kept high?

For the last several years in the Andean country of Colombia, this question has not been hypothetical. President Álvaro Uribe, an archconservative first elected in 2002, has won unprecedented high marks for his can-do attitude, workaholic image, and perhaps most of all, a military strategy that pushed violent guerrilla groups out of most population centers after a decade-long defense buildup. Last fall, a national poll found that 46 percent of Colombians believed that nobody but Uribe was even capable of governing the country. And in Washington, arguably Bogotá's most important ally, Uribe is lauded as an unwavering partner in maintaining regional security, not least in the war on drugs. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's meeting with him in Uruguay earlier this week was probably one of the easiest she'll have on her Latin America trip.
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
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