Colombia’s President Uribe: ‘I deplore that Senator Obama’
Current Political Landscape
In contemporary discourse regarding Latin America, Colombia is often characterized as a failed state mired by ruinous civil war and reflecting the pervasive influence of powerful drug-running paramilitaries. On the other hand, there are those who see the country as an enviable exemplar of democracy led by one of the most popular presidents of the region. The U.S. government, not surprisingly, is the indefatigable spokesperson for the latter interpretation. Comments by officials like former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicolas Burns, who stated in 2006 that ‘during the last five years, the Colombian people have produced the greatest success story in Latin America,’ are unfortunately, common.
Depictions such as these above do little to deepen people’s understanding of this problematic country and its significance in contemporary Latin America. As of late, this type of inflated rhetoric has obfuscated developments which are challenging the status quo in Colombia and could fundamentally alter the country’s so-called ‘special’ relationship with the U.S., as well as with some of its Latin American neighbors. As of now, a challenge is emanating from multiple sectors of society, but particularly from the politically progressive wing comprised of the excluded, the dispossessed, and the indigenous, who are increasingly exerting anti-government pressure in the public forum in an effort to make themselves heard.