RealNews

Colombian Senate OKs Anti-Terror Bill

Colombia’s Senate approved a divisive anti-terrorism bill Thursday giving the military sweeping powers to search homes, detain suspects without warrants and tap phones. The legislation, criticized by human rights groups, is part of President Alvaro Uribe’s strategy to defeat a four-decade leftist insurgency and restore authority in the country’s lawless provinces. “The country’s citizens can feel more serene,” Interior and Justice Minister Sabas Pretelt told parliament. “They should know that the terrorists harming them will now face all the force of the state.” The decision came after Columbian troops launched a massive operation against outlawed right-wing paramilitary fighters, killing 24 and capturing 39. It was one of the largest campaigns against the militias since they opened disarmament talks with the government in July, the army said Thursday. Full Story

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