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June 23, 2010
It's no surprise that voters in Colombia chose a tough former defense minister to succeed outgoing President Alvaro Uribe, who is leaving office after two terms. A resounding 69% of those who cast ballots opted for continuity, replacing Uribe, who made serious headway against the leftist guerrillas seeking to overthrow the government, with the man who helped him do it, Juan Manuel Santos. Santos' military's successes against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia included a daring operation in which rebels were duped into freeing high-profile hostages, and a cross-border raid into Ecuador in which the FARC's No. 2 was killed.
November 27, 2013 | By Chris Kraul
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombia on Wednesday recalled its ambassador to Nicaragua, a day after the Central American nation filed a complaint with an international court alleging Colombia "made threats of force" regarding disputed territory in the Caribbean. Although details of the alleged threats were not available Wednesday, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon acknowledged that “three or four” navy ships were patrolling the disputed area, insisting that they were there to combat drug trafficking and to “protect rights of Colombian citizens.” Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said at a news conference that she was recalling ambassador Luz Stella Jara because “it is impossible to have a dialogue with Nicaragua.” In an earlier interview with Caracol Radio of Bogota, she described Nicaragua as “the worst neighbor” for allegedly failing to engage in bilateral talks as called for in September by President Juan Manuel Santos to hammer out a treaty covering access to the disputed territory.
November 13, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
A tentative deal reached this month between Colombia's largest rebel group and President Juan Manuel Santos' government could finally lead to an end to the country's bloody, decades-long conflict. The agreement establishes a basic framework under which the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia will be allowed to participate in the country's political life. It includes security guarantees for participants in any new political parties that may emerge, and it authorizes the creation of temporary special congressional seats for parties in areas where the conflict has been the most intense (and where the FARC tends to be strongest)
June 13, 2013 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
CALI, Colombia - Ask Ana Julia Torres how many children she has, and she'll say 652: two human offspring plus the hundreds of tigers, lions, mules, snakes, monkeys and other species residing at her refuge north of here. The creatures have typically been seized from or cast off by narcos, circuses, animal traffickers and bored collectors. Her reference to the "children" inhabiting her 8-acre private facility, named Villa Lorena after her daughter, reflects her deep love for the animals.
August 9, 2009 | Associated Press
President Hugo Chavez on Saturday announced the return of his ambassador to Colombia, but said Venezuela still intended to take a stand against negotiations to lease seven Colombian military bases to the U.S. Chavez told Ambassador Gustavo Marquez to return to Bogota, the Colombian capital, 11 days after the diplomat was recalled. He also reiterated concerns that the U.S. could use bases in Colombia to destabilize the region. "We're not telling Colombia what it has to do with its territory," Chavez said from Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, in an interview with Colombia's RCN television.
September 16, 2013 | By Pablo Jaramillo Viteri and Chris Kraul
QUITO, Ecuador - Colombia has agreed to pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Ecuador for human and economic damage caused by spraying an anti-coca herbicide that blew across the countries' common border. The settlement of the 2008 lawsuit brought by Ecuador before the International Court of Justice at The Hague was announced by both governments Friday. In a statement, Colombia's Foreign Ministry said the “friendly agreement” included money to encourage economic development in Ecuador's border zone.
May 12, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
Brazil and its huge offshore oil finds may be getting much of the oil world's attention these days, but Latin America's energy scene has another rising star: Colombia. In the latest upward revision of the nation's production targets, a top official of state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol said Monday that Colombia's crude oil output should reach at least 1.2 million barrels a day by the end of 2012, nearly double the average daily production reached last year. The ramping up of crude production would strengthen the country's status as the region's fourth-largest oil producer and probably lead to increased Colombian exports to the U.S., analysts said.
May 8, 2010 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
– Over the last two or three years, a steady buzz has been building in architecture and design circles about developments in this city of 3.5 million, which through much of the 1980s and 1990s was infamous for its sky-high murder rate and viciously competitive drug cartels, including a particularly violent one led by Pablo Escobar. Architects and urban planners who traveled to Medellín seemed to return telling some version of the same enthusiastic story about the renaissance taking place in Colombia's second-largest city, which has been driven in large part by investment in ambitious civic architecture.
December 27, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Ecuador will not break diplomatic relations with Colombia despite mounting tensions over that nation's refusal to halt U.S.-backed aerial fumigation of coca crops along the shared border, Foreign Minister Francisco Carrion said. President Alfredo Palacio recalled Ecuador's ambassador for consultation after Colombia resumed the spraying to within 330 feet of the border.
May 31, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
President Juan Manuel Santos' decision last year to restart peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was understandably met with skepticism. After all, three similar efforts over three decades failed to bring an end to the violence that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced some 3 million people in the region's longest-running internal conflict. But this time there is reason for hope. Earlier this week, the Santos administration and the rebel group, known as FARC, announced that they had reached a landmark agreement on agrarian reform.
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