Sunday, March 30, 2003

Medellin, Colombia is becoming a much safer place:

Homicide is down 38% over the same period last year, from 114 to 75, though according to a community leader from 20 de Julio, "they are not killing people in the neighborhood anymore. Rather, they take them out and kill them in neighborhoods nearby, which distorts the indices of violence in Comuna 13."

People now sleep easily at night:

Gunfire no longer echoes through the night because now more than half the killings are done with knives.

On the History channel I watched Killing Pablo twice in the last few days. The people who were being interviewed explained that there are important lessons in "fighting terrorism" to be learned from the whole story. A paramilitary group called "Los Pepes" (People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar) began killing everybody associated with him, so all of Pablo's allies were "running for their lives, dead, or arrested" (turned themselves in for their own safety). So Pablo didn't have any friends left and was hunted down by the police. Los Pepes evolved into AUC, which is now fighting Pablo's effective replacement, the FARC organisation. So, is fighting terror by "pre-emption" and "taking the gloves off" effective? Look at Colombia and learn...

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