Alex Constantine - July 23, 2007
Bogota, Jul 23 (Prensa Latina) - The idea presented by President Alvaro Uribe that Colombia has overcome the period of paramilitary groups is the "best-disguised lie by this government," an editorial by El Tiempo daily said on Monday.
Uribe made such a statement on Friday, when opening the new legislature of a Congress that according to the daily, will go down in history, not because its initiatives, but due to the number of congresspeople in jail because of their relations with the paramilitary groups.
It also said the number of threatened victims is dizzily increasing, so much that many of them have given up appearing in court to attend the paramilitary chiefs' statements at the Attorney General's Office.
For the daily, it is false that demobilizing the paramilitary groups have taken peace to the regions, or that those areas have been recovered by the public force, supposed victories that the government cites to support that the paramilitary groups no longer exist.
On the contrary, it said there is evidence, proving that paramilitary groups are far from having been eradicated, and is reshaping in new forms, more as mafia and less perceptible each time, as warned the last report by the Organization of American States.
Implementation of the Law of Justice and Peace has found hindrances that if not eliminated, could become a great national frustration, and there is more evidence each time to prove that the paramilitary chiefs in prison keep committing crimes and exerting influence on the coming elections.
Original headline: "Colombia Still Houses Paramilitary Groups, Daily'