Colombia: War on the Cocaine Mafia

An outraged President takes on the drug traffickers

It was an unconditional declaration of war that Colombian President Belisario Betancur Cuartes issued from the pulpit of the cathedral in Neiva earlier this month. He had walked to the cathedral behind the flag-draped coffin of his slain Justice Minister, Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, 37. "There will be no truce for the narcotics traffickers," Betancur vowed, his voice trembling with emotion. "There will be punishment without mercy." The mourners broke into applause when the President declared, "The international drug criminals will see us standing proudly...

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