Colombia: A Very Bizarre "Peace Laboratory"

A province adapts to rebel rule as the government tries to negotiate an end to the guerrilla war

In San Vicente del Caguan, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has kept an eerie calm since government troops withdrew late last year. In the evenings, guerrillas in fatigues patrol the packed-mud streets as music blares from bars, pool halls, and discos. Elsewhere in Colombia, it's a lot harder to hear the harmony. On July 8, FARC rebels launched a wave of attacks on two dozen towns, beginning with a bloody run at a military post about 100 kilometers south of Bogota. But it is in the demilitarized zone around San Vicente, a dusty cattle town of 22,000 in Colombia's south, that President Andres Pastrana Arango now hopes to negotiate an accord bringing FARC's 35-year guerrilla war to a close.

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