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L.A. Times editorial on challenges facing Colombia's Uribe

August 27, 2008 | 11:45 am

Uribe President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia is possibly the most popular elected leader in the world, says this Los Angeles Times editorial.

"The military's dazzling rescue of hostages held for years by leftist rebels, including Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three American military contractors, coupled with his successful attacks on the guerrillas' drug trafficking, have led to approval ratings of which most politicians only dream: On a bad day, support for the president dips below 90%. Kidnappings and murders, although still astronomically high by U.S. standards, are at their lowest levels in 30 years, and Colombians finally are optimistic about an end to their decades-long civil war."

But it goes on to warn readers that progress against the country's rebels should not be the only measure of Uribe's success.

Read the full editorial here.

For more on Colombia, click here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City