COLOMBIA: Peace Posses

In some backwoods areas of Colombia, arguments usually end in a draw—of guns or machetes. During election campaigns, such bloody incidents have been used by politicos to incite violence on a national scale. As their hottest congressional campaign in years moved into high gear last week, sober Colombians were dismayed to see the vicious old cycle repeating itself. In three months, the number of murders attributed to politics had risen to 40. Warned staid El Tiempo: "[Such] violence is the worst thing that can happen in a democratic country."

As the Conservative head of a coalition government made up mostly...

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