No Way to Negotiate With Narcoterrorists by Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Wall Street Journal
A majority of Colombians this month voted to reject the government’s deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the Marxist narcoterrorist group better known as the FARC. The government used and abused all its powers in an effort to ensure victory, but millions of voters decided that the country would be better off without giving in to the rebels’ demands. All Colombians want peace. Any future deal, however, must address voters’ substantive concerns.
Colombia has long been Latin America’s most stable democracy, with popular rule for almost all of the past century. While the government’s battle against the FARC rebels is often described as a civil war, this conflict is not an uprising against an oppressive regime. Rather, it is a struggle that has pitted democratic governments against persistent terrorist threats to the rule of law. Recall that FARC is also a prolific cocaine cartel.
When I was president of Colombia between 2002 and 2010, we implemented an aggressive security policy to crack down on narcoterrorism. It was aimed at protecting citizens’ freedom and rights, as well as promoting investor confidence and strengthening the bonds of social cohesion across the nation. While still far from a paradise, Colombia in 2010 was a safer country with a rapidly growing economy…