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Jeffrey Simpson's view of Colombian society differs markedly from the indigenous, mestizo, mulatto and Afro-Latin American perspectives. For Colombia's white supremacist oligarchy, Indians and Africans were born to be slaves and die.

No wonder the countryside has been in an almost continual state of insurgency since the late 18th


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When leftists built the Patriotic Union party in the 1980s in an attempt to play parliamentary politics, at least 10,000 were murdered by right-wing death squads.

Mr. Simpson may think all that is water under the bridge, but Colombians who have to work for a living know better.

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