Colombia’s War on Terror Was a License for Mass Murder

Álvaro Uribe came to power in Colombia shortly after 9/11 and declared his own war on terrorism with US support.

Members of the right-wing paramilitary group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) raise their rifles near the Venezuelan border, June 14, 2001. They remained at war with leftist guerrilla groups — the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC) — until 2006. (Efrain Patino / AFP via Getty Images)

For Álvaro Uribe, George W. Bush’s declaration of a “war on terror” was a golden opportunity. The Colombian president seized upon the rhetoric of the Bush administration and applied it to his own enemies, promising a ruthless military campaign to eradicate those he called “terrorists.” Uribe came to power after the breakdown of a peace process […]