Colombia: September 16, 2002


Newly installed president Uribe has moved quickly and decisively to deal with the paralyzing effect decades of civil war has had. The unrest has made it difficult for the government to raise money through taxation, so a surcharge was placed on businesses (which are easier to tax) and the bloated bureaucracy was cut (30,000 of 800,000 civil servants fired, pay cut 25-75 percent for the rest) and more money put into security. In particular, the highways between the major cities have been made safer, as this is where most kidnappings take place. Aside from angering the labor unions (which tend to be pretty corrupt as well). Uribe is hitting a responsive chord with most of the population.


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