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President Alvaro Uribe

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WORLD
December 10, 2004 | Henry Chu, Times Staff Writer
President Alvaro Uribe, the United States' closest ally in South America, is on the verge of signing a bill whose chief beneficiary would be himself: a constitutional amendment that would allow him to run for reelection. Presidents have been barred from serving consecutive terms since 1991, a prohibition hailed as a step forward for democracy in a region dragged down for years by strongmen unwilling to cede power.
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OPINION
August 9, 2010 | By Carolina Barco
In his Aug. 5 Times Op-Ed article, " U.S. needs to reevaluate Plan Colombia ," Milburn Line raises some important issues about the U.S.-Colombia alliance. Unfortunately, in questioning the progress Colombia has made under former President Alvaro Uribe in fighting insurgencies and curtailing the drug trade, Line presents an uninformed point of view. That Colombia has undergone an impressive transformation over the past decade is inarguable. The dramatic reduction in violence — with homicides having dropped by 45% between 2002 and 2009 — has yielded crime rates throughout our nation that are lower than those in many U.S. cities.
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WORLD
February 27, 2010 | By Chris Kraul and Jenny Carolina Gonzalez
Colombia's constitutional court dealt a death blow Friday to President Alvaro Uribe's hopes of running for a third term, ruling that a referendum proposed by his supporters to open the way for another candidacy would be illegal. The highly anticipated ruling comes before a presidential election scheduled for May 30, opening the way to an exciting, compressed campaign with no clear front-runner. Candidates include former Medellin Mayor Sergio Fajardo, former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, Sen. Gustavo Petro and previous presidential candidate Noemi Sanin.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
If you seek a monument to the security gains Colombia has made under President Alvaro Uribe's eight-year administration, the newly inaugurated JW Marriott Hotel here is a good place to look. Improved security, the dynamic economy and some tax breaks are attracting the major international hotel chains that for decades shied away from Colombia. Uribe, who leaves office Saturday, officiated at the 264-room Marriott's ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. "I don't have words to express my thanks for the confidence you show in Colombia," Uribe said to executives of Marriott and Grupo Poma, the El Salvador-based firm that owns the new hotel under a franchise agreement.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
If you seek a monument to the security gains Colombia has made under President Alvaro Uribe's eight-year administration, the newly inaugurated JW Marriott Hotel here is a good place to look. Improved security, the dynamic economy and some tax breaks are attracting the major international hotel chains that for decades shied away from Colombia. Uribe, who leaves office Saturday, officiated at the 264-room Marriott's ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. "I don't have words to express my thanks for the confidence you show in Colombia," Uribe said to executives of Marriott and Grupo Poma, the El Salvador-based firm that owns the new hotel under a franchise agreement.
WORLD
July 19, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
President Alvaro Uribe has scrapped his plan to rerun the 2006 election in which he was reelected, the government said, a move that could set the stage for him to seek a third term in 2010. Uribe said last month that he would try to repeat the vote after the Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional amendment that allowed him to run for and win a second term was tainted by corruption. He has now dropped that plan. Uribe's popularity shot up to 91% after this month's dramatic rescue of 15 rebel-held hostages, including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.
OPINION
March 14, 2007
Re "In Colombia, Bush visits ally," March 12 The subhead to the story on President Bush's visit to Colombia read, "He shows his support for President Alvaro Uribe on a rare trip by a U.S. leader to the violence-racked capital." I have lived in Bogota for 27 months. While there is undeniable crime, this city is no more "violence-racked" than Los Angeles. Bogota is not a horrible, crime-ridden city. It is a resilient, proud, tough-minded, long-suffering city on the rebound. And Uribe's administration, with U.S. and other international help, deserves a lot of credit for pushing the bad guys back.
WORLD
March 30, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Colombia said that France would be willing to receive former guerrilla fighters as part of a possible deal to free scores of rebel hostages, including ailing French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt. The proposal is part of a package of offers President Alvaro Uribe has made to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in an effort to prompt rebels to free kidnapping victims held for as long as 10 years in secret jungle camps. Uribe last week urged FARC fighters to accept offers of cash rewards and reduced jail terms for abandoning rebel ranks and handing over hostages.
OPINION
July 30, 2005
Re "Colombia grasps at peace," Opinion, July 25 As a Colombian living in exile, whose brother was abducted, tortured and killed by paramilitaries, there's nothing I want more than to see peace in my country. However, I read the column by Francisco Santos Calderon, the nation's vice president, with more skepticism than hope. President Alvaro Uribe claims his legal initiative will disarm both left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries; however, the government and official military's ongoing links to paramilitary terrorism are well-documented.
WORLD
March 24, 2010 | By Chris Kraul
Colombian armed forces on Tuesday rescued five subcontractor employees of Westwood-based Occidental Petroleum who were kidnapped near the Venezuelan border last week by suspected leftist guerrillas. The kidnappings, which occurred Friday near an Oxy facility in Arauca state as the employees ate lunch at a roadside restaurant, comes as the Colombian government is trying to drum up investor interest in oil exploration here, touting the general improvement in security of recent years.
OPINION
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.
OPINION
June 7, 2010
While politicos and Latin America analysts have been preoccupied with next month's presidential race in Colombia, a truly historic development has gone almost unnoticed. Thanks to the work of the Cornell Law School International Human Rights Clinic, Colombia has joined the ranks of nations that provide free and compulsory primary school education. Four years of work by the clinic and by the Colombian Coalition for the Right to Education came to fruition last week when the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that charging tuition for public elementary school was a violation of the Colombian Constitution.
WORLD
May 31, 2010 | By Jenny Carolina Gonzalez and Tracy Wilkinson, Special to The Times
Juan Manuel Santos, a veteran defense minister and political heir to conservative President Alvaro Uribe, surged well ahead in voting Sunday in Colombia's hard-fought presidential election but fell just shy of winning the simple majority that would have given him the office. Belying most preelection polls, Santos won more than twice as many votes as his nearest rival, former Bogota Mayor Antanas Mockus, an eccentric underdog whose novel, colorful campaign had put him in serious competition with the better-established Santos.
WORLD
March 31, 2010 | By Chris Kraul
Leftist rebels on Tuesday freed one of Colombia's longest-held hostages, an army corporal seized by insurgents when they overran his base in December 1997. The release of Pablo Emilio Moncayo, 31, came two days after rebels freed Pvt. Josue Daniel Calvo in Meta state. Calvo, who had been held for 11 months, is being treated in a Bogota military hospital for leg wounds he suffered in a battle at the time of his capture. The liberation of the pair has raised hope for a comprehensive hostage-prisoner swap between the leftists and the government of President Alvaro Uribe, who is to leave office in August.
WORLD
March 24, 2010 | By Chris Kraul
Colombian armed forces on Tuesday rescued five subcontractor employees of Westwood-based Occidental Petroleum who were kidnapped near the Venezuelan border last week by suspected leftist guerrillas. The kidnappings, which occurred Friday near an Oxy facility in Arauca state as the employees ate lunch at a roadside restaurant, comes as the Colombian government is trying to drum up investor interest in oil exploration here, touting the general improvement in security of recent years.
WORLD
February 27, 2010 | By Chris Kraul and Jenny Carolina Gonzalez
Colombia's constitutional court dealt a death blow Friday to President Alvaro Uribe's hopes of running for a third term, ruling that a referendum proposed by his supporters to open the way for another candidacy would be illegal. The highly anticipated ruling comes before a presidential election scheduled for May 30, opening the way to an exciting, compressed campaign with no clear front-runner. Candidates include former Medellin Mayor Sergio Fajardo, former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, Sen. Gustavo Petro and previous presidential candidate Noemi Sanin.
OPINION
June 7, 2010
While politicos and Latin America analysts have been preoccupied with next month's presidential race in Colombia, a truly historic development has gone almost unnoticed. Thanks to the work of the Cornell Law School International Human Rights Clinic, Colombia has joined the ranks of nations that provide free and compulsory primary school education. Four years of work by the clinic and by the Colombian Coalition for the Right to Education came to fruition last week when the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that charging tuition for public elementary school was a violation of the Colombian Constitution.
OPINION
August 9, 2010 | By Carolina Barco
In his Aug. 5 Times Op-Ed article, " U.S. needs to reevaluate Plan Colombia ," Milburn Line raises some important issues about the U.S.-Colombia alliance. Unfortunately, in questioning the progress Colombia has made under former President Alvaro Uribe in fighting insurgencies and curtailing the drug trade, Line presents an uninformed point of view. That Colombia has undergone an impressive transformation over the past decade is inarguable. The dramatic reduction in violence — with homicides having dropped by 45% between 2002 and 2009 — has yielded crime rates throughout our nation that are lower than those in many U.S. cities.
WORLD
December 23, 2009 | By Chris Kraul
Caqueta state Gov. Luis Francisco Cuellar was found dead Tuesday, Colombian authorities said, less than a day after he was abducted from his home by suspected leftist guerrillas. Cuellar's body was found near Florencia, the state capital where he lived, authorities said. President Alvaro Uribe later said on national television that Cuellar's throat had been cut as the assailants fled from security forces. His body was found by a rural road, said Uribe, who promised to press the fight against rebel violence.
WORLD
September 3, 2009 | Chris Kraul, Kraul is a special correspondent.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has cleared the last legislative hurdle to running for a third term, a prospect that his U.S. allies look upon with ambivalence. By a vote of 85 to 5, the lower house of Congress late Tuesday greenlighted a voter referendum early next year that could pave the way for Uribe to be on the May presidential ballot. The Senate approved the measure last month. If so, it would be the second time Uribe has circumvented a constitutional ban on reelection, a measure many Latin American countries put into law to prevent the ascension of caudillos , or political leaders who have kept themselves in power.
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