Colombia Sees Gains in Its War With Rebels

For years, eerily abandoned highways testified to Colombians’ fear that anyone rich enough to go by car into the countryside was a target for guerrillas raising funds for their insurgency through ransoms.

Over the last month, however, almost a third of Colombia’s 44 million people hit the road to visit family and friends for the holidays, many venturing from crowded cities for the first time in a decade. No one in the 17-month-old government of conservative President Alvaro Uribe is ready to declare victory in the 40-year war against the leftist guerrillas, whose factions still hold more than 5,000 hostages, including politicians, industrialists, foreign tourists and middle-class citizens mistaken for pescas milagrosas — “miraculous fish” that would yield riches. Full Story

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