TIME | 9/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
If Colombia Is Winning Its War, Why Are People Fleeing?
Sept 01--As he contemplates running for a third term next year, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe must first get over the swine flu, which he was diagnosed with over the weekend. But he has another thing to worry about besides his health: his impressive record on national security appears to be fraying.
Last year, 380,000 Colombians were forced off their land amid fighting between rebels, paramilitaries and the army, a 24% increase from 2007's figure, according to the Bogotá-based human-rights group Codhes (the Spanish acronym for the Human Rights and Displacement Office). Colombian officials, in turn, put the number of displaced at 294,000 for just the first six months of last year. "It's the million-dollar question," Marie-Helene Verney, spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Colombia, says of the perplexing trend. "Something is going on."
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