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Five key points on five decades of conflict in Colombia

In a country covered in mountains and jungle, where the government’s presence is often weak, rural poverty has played a central role. Most historians trace the conflict to the 1960s, when several leftist guerrilla groups rose up against a government they accused of subjugating peasants and the poor. Some go back to the 1940s and a period known as “La Violencia” (the violence), an eruption of bloodshed in the Colombian countryside following the assassination of leftist presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer Gaitan.

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