Saturday, 7 August 2010

Colombia: Uribe's Legacy

As Uribe's presidential term draws to a close this weekend, the media is starting to assess his legacy. The general conclusion seems to be "he got the country under control, but those human rights abuses weren't very nice". IPS claims,
his fiercest critics console themselves by drawing a parallel with former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), who ended up in prison on corruption and human rights charges.
But the Fujimori criticism seems to me more than fair, given 1) the long-running question of a possible third term, 2) the witch hunt against human rights activists and indeed, anyone who raised their voice against the administration and 3) the connections between the official state and paramilitaries.

At least it is practically impossible to sum up the Uribe regime without mentioning the 'false positive' scandal, and both of the articles considered here do so in some detail. However, both place more emphasis on the outgoing president's strong popularity ratings and purported success in improving the security situation.

Dismal Human Rights Record Has Not Dented Uribe's Popularity (IPS)
Uribe's Colombia: The dark side of a country transformed (Guardian)

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