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NEWS
June 1, 1998 | JUANITA DARLING and DAVID AQUILA LAWRENCE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Former Foreign Minister Noemi Sanin on Sunday achieved the strongest showing recorded in modern times in this country by an independent presidential candidate, but she still lost to the two political parties that have governed for more than a century. The Liberal and Conservative standard-bearers will battle for the presidency in a June 21 runoff election because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote. With 96% of precincts reporting, Liberal Party candidate Horacio Serpa led with 34.
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NEWS
August 28, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
Gunmen killed at least 17 people in two separate massacres, one of which officials attributed to right-wing paramilitary militias. The killings come three days before President Clinton is to visit Colombia. In one attack, gunmen executed 10 residents of two neighborhoods in the Caribbean coastal town of Cienaga, police said. Meanwhile, suspected rightist gunmen raided two barrios outside the Pacific port of Buenaventura, killing seven people.
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NEWS
May 30, 1999 | Reuters
President Andres Pastrana picked a close political ally Saturday to replace the defense minister, who resigned in protest of the government's handling of peace talks with Marxist rebels. Pastrana chose Luis Fernando Ramirez, 40, a former Labor minister and longtime political collaborator, to replace Rodrigo Lloreda, whose departure Wednesday triggered a short-lived crisis in the military.
NEWS
May 10, 2000 | From Reuters
A Senate panel Tuesday approved nearly $8 billion in emergency funds to pay for Kosovo peacekeeping, Colombian anti-drug efforts and disaster relief, and endorsed a measure requiring Congress to approve an extended U.S. troop deployment in Kosovo. The Senate Appropriations Committee also moved to require the Clinton administration to certify by July 1 that European allies are meeting financial and humanitarian assistance commitments in Kosovo, or else begin withdrawing U.S. troops.
NEWS
August 7, 1998 | JUANITA DARLING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Politicians, like athletes, can change quickly from hero to goat. But few have been transformed in the reverse as thoroughly as Andres Pastrana, who will be inaugurated today as the next president of Colombia. Four years ago, Pastrana was so unpopular that a group of Colombians who spotted him changing planes in Miami booed him.
NEWS
June 22, 1998 | JUANITA DARLING and DAVID AQUILA LAWRENCE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Voters turned out in record numbers Sunday to elect Andres Pastrana to lead Colombia, firmly rejecting the administration of President Ernesto Samper, who spent most of his four-year term defending himself against drug-corruption allegations while the world's major cocaine-producing nation spiraled further into chaos. Pastrana's election is expected to markedly improve U.S.-Colombian relations, which have grown bitter in the past four years because of Samper's alleged ties to drug traffickers.
NEWS
May 31, 1998 | JUANITA DARLING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
People here share a memory of Ingrid Betancourt. On a night just over two years ago, the nation watched as the freshman representative from Bogota took the floor of Congress to argue for the impeachment of President Ernesto Samper. In those two hours, she became the most recognizable congressional figure to emerge from a campaign finance scandal that shook Samper's presidency.
NEWS
August 28, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
Gunmen killed at least 17 people in two separate massacres, one of which officials attributed to right-wing paramilitary militias. The killings come three days before President Clinton is to visit Colombia. In one attack, gunmen executed 10 residents of two neighborhoods in the Caribbean coastal town of Cienaga, police said. Meanwhile, suspected rightist gunmen raided two barrios outside the Pacific port of Buenaventura, killing seven people.
NEWS
April 7, 2000 | From Associated Press
Suspected paramilitary gunmen executed 21 unarmed residents of a small town in an oil- and cocaine-producing region near the Venezuelan border Thursday, officials said. The shootings by the men, most in camouflage uniforms, occurred in two poor barrios of Tibu, said Ruben Sanchez, the local delegate of the federal human rights ombudsman's office. Police confirmed his account.
NEWS
May 6, 2000
A human rights activist was found shot dead in Colombia's northwestern region, which is dominated by right-wing paramilitary groups, authorities said. Police said Jesus Ramiro Zapata's bullet-riddled body was found Thursday outside Segovia in Antioquia province. Police said Zapata, 42, a teacher who headed the Segovia Human Rights Committee, was abducted by gunmen a day earlier. Friends and family members blamed a paramilitary death squad for the slaying of Zapata.
NEWS
May 9, 2000 | Associated Press
Failing to push through a plan to dissolve Congress, Colombia's interior minister resigned Monday rather than face the possibility of being forced out. Nestor Humberto Martinez, who as interior minister spearheaded the government's plan to annul the legislature through a national referendum, stepped down just minutes before the opposition-controlled Congress was to debate removing him from office.
NEWS
May 6, 2000
A human rights activist was found shot dead in Colombia's northwestern region, which is dominated by right-wing paramilitary groups, authorities said. Police said Jesus Ramiro Zapata's bullet-riddled body was found Thursday outside Segovia in Antioquia province. Police said Zapata, 42, a teacher who headed the Segovia Human Rights Committee, was abducted by gunmen a day earlier. Friends and family members blamed a paramilitary death squad for the slaying of Zapata.
NEWS
April 30, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
In a quest for legitimacy that could mark a new phase in peace efforts, 4,000 members of Colombia's most powerful rebel army massed at San Vicente del Caguan to launch a new political party. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, also brought in hundreds of civilians from rebel-controlled areas to the ranching town in the southern demilitarized zone.
NEWS
April 7, 2000 | From Associated Press
Suspected paramilitary gunmen executed 21 unarmed residents of a small town in an oil- and cocaine-producing region near the Venezuelan border Thursday, officials said. The shootings by the men, most in camouflage uniforms, occurred in two poor barrios of Tibu, said Ruben Sanchez, the local delegate of the federal human rights ombudsman's office. Police confirmed his account.
NEWS
February 19, 2000 | From Reuters
At least 27 people died in the latest outbreak of political violence across Colombia, including 20 peasants who were shot and hacked to death by members of a right-wing paramilitary death squad, authorities said Friday. News of the killings came a day after the government, which is engaged in year-old peace talks with the country's leading Marxist guerrilla force, said it was preparing to launch negotiations with Colombia's second-largest leftist rebel group as well.
NEWS
May 30, 1999 | Reuters
President Andres Pastrana picked a close political ally Saturday to replace the defense minister, who resigned in protest of the government's handling of peace talks with Marxist rebels. Pastrana chose Luis Fernando Ramirez, 40, a former Labor minister and longtime political collaborator, to replace Rodrigo Lloreda, whose departure Wednesday triggered a short-lived crisis in the military.
NEWS
December 14, 1996 | JUANITA DARLING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Congress here left President Ernesto Samper with half a loaf Friday by effectively shelving half of a tough anti-drug package. Legislators closed the current session without voting on a bill that would have doubled prison sentences for narcotics traffickers. Under intense pressure from Samper, they had passed a compromise version of a law to make it easier to confiscate drug traffickers' property. But the sentencing bill cannot be considered again until Congress reconvenes in March.
NEWS
December 8, 1995 | STEVEN AMBRUS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Opponents are crying "Cover-up!" and Colombians fear new violence as a congressional committee dominated by President Ernesto Samper's political cronies prepares to clear him of charges that he financed his 1994 electoral campaign with drug money. Chief congressional investigator Heyne Mogollon has recommended that the Congressional Committee of Accusations shelve a four-month inquiry into Samper's activities for lack of proof of wrongdoing, Colombian newspapers reported Thursday.
NEWS
October 15, 1998 | From Times Wire Services
Tens of thousands of workers marched through this capital Wednesday, the eighth day of a strike to protest the government's planned austerity measures. About 200,000 people thronged the streets of Bogota to demand higher wages and more government spending. They dispersed shortly before nightfall. Also Wednesday, President Andres Pastrana--who has made peace talks with leftist guerrillas his top priority--ordered all government troops to start pulling out of a huge swath of southeast Colombia.
NEWS
August 7, 1998 | JUANITA DARLING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Politicians, like athletes, can change quickly from hero to goat. But few have been transformed in the reverse as thoroughly as Andres Pastrana, who will be inaugurated today as the next president of Colombia. Four years ago, Pastrana was so unpopular that a group of Colombians who spotted him changing planes in Miami booed him.
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