Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Uribe in Georgetown

Colombian ex-Pres. Alvaro Uribe is now teaching in Georgetown University, and, predictably, students are protesting.

To the protesters, Uribe is little better than a mass-murderer. And they certainly have plenty of evidence to support their arguments: Uribe's apparent links to the mass-murdering paramilitaries; the thousand deaths of the false positives scandal, the chuzadas scandal, the rise in the numbers of displaced people...and on and on.

Yet, for many observers Uribe was a paragon of liberal democracy, who returned the rule of law to his country, generally tolerated criticism from the media, oversaw a growing economy and stepped down when the court ruled he should.

What will be history's verdict on Pres. Uribe? I suspect that it won't depend so much on Uribe, but rather on Colombia's future. If Colombia's economy continues growing, if the country becomes more stable and the guerrillas explode again - then historians will call him the president who put the country on track. But if these trends reverse themselves, then I think he'll be remembered as another deeply flawed president who ruled over a corrupt, violent, drug-ridden nation.

Those who are succesful write history in their manner.

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