Sunday, January 9, 2011

War casualties in Colombia and Afghanistan

This article presents official numbers that indicate that in 2010 more than 2500 Colombian soldiers have been killed in our country's internal conflict. These deaths have been dealt by a guerrilla that is supposedly much-weakened after eight years of sustained military pressure. As a point of comparison, US and NATO troops in Afghanistan suffered about 700 deaths in 2010. This other article indicates that Pakistan's armed forces have lost 3000 members since 2003 in their fight against insurgents.

Supposedly Colombia is much more peaceful and our conflict has wound down a lot in the past few years. But if more soldiers are dying here than in the chaotic mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan, we're in worse shape than the New York Times travel section lets on. I'm torn on the matter. Of course I want Colombia's reputation to improve, and as someone directly involved in tourism I want more people to visit our amazing, fascinating country. But at the same time I don't want to sugarcoat or hide our horrid civil war.

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