Nytt

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Colombias utenriksminister, den billedskjønne Maria Consuelo Araujo, kunngjorde sin avgang tirsdag etter at broren og faren var satt i forbindelse med høyreorienterte paramilitære.

Araujo selv er utenfor mistanke, men brorens innblanding gjorde hennes stilling uholdbar.

Arrestasjonen av broren, som er senator, sier noe om hvor infiltrert Colombia er, både av paramilitære og gerilja. Colombia er en av verdens mest voldelige samfunn, og før den siste voldsøkningen i Irak var tapstallene nesten på linje.

The country’s Supreme Court has been probing the extent to which the paramilitary forces, labeled terrorists by the U.S. State Department, have infiltrated the highest levels of the Colombian government. Critics have charged that Uribe has not done enough to rein in the militias’ influence.

Formed in the 1980s as self-defense groups against leftist guerrilla armies, the paramilitary forces in time evolved into mafias that trafficked in drugs, committed murder and rigged elections. A 2003 peace agreement called on 31,000 paramilitary fighters to lay down their arms and offered their leaders relatively light sentences, but critics allege that the top commanders still direct followers’ criminal activities from prison cells.

Questions about the militias’ ties to top politicians could jeopardize Colombia’s relations with the U.S. American lawmakers are expected to vote this year on a free trade agreement between the two countries and a one-year extension of Plan Colombia, which now delivers more than $700 million in U.S. aid to this nation each year.

En viktig forskjell fra 70 – og 80-årene er at USA ikke lenger ukritisk støtter de høyreorienterte.

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