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Events in Colombia Have an Impact on Us

January 21, 2002

Re "Colombia Leader Rejects Rebels' Peace Proposal," Jan. 13: Sadly, things seem to be getting back to business as usual. Once again, we Americans are retreating into blissful ignorance of world events.

Lost in the increasingly loud partisan bickering over the latest Washington scandal came disturbing news that Colombia came to the brink of all-out civil war. Why should we care? Because the democratic pro-American government in Colombia finds itself in a violent and destabilizing war with three insurgent groups, all of which are on the U.S. list of international terrorist organizations.

How does this affect us? These groups are nothing but glorified security guards for Colombia's enormous cocaine and heroin production fields. Most of these drugs find their way into the United States, killing far more people every year than the Sept. 11 attacks.

Haven't we learned the lesson that events in a land far away involving terrorist organizations do indeed have an impact on us? What will it take for Americans to pay attention to this ticking time bomb?

Mauricio Bejarano

Los Angeles

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