RealNews

Cease-Fire Becomes Land Grab

Colombia’s largest private paramilitary force is seizing farmland and houses at gunpoint in an effort to consolidate its hold on strategic regions across the country before beginning negotiations to disarm, according to military officials, Western diplomats and witnesses. The tactics pose a challenge to President Alvaro Uribe, who placed a central condition on the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known as the AUC, when he agreed to begin discussions that could end in a measure of amnesty for its leadership. That condition was cessation of hostilities against the civilian population, which has suffered the most hardship in Colombia’s four-decade-long conflict. Full Story

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