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Government and Politics

Among the most militant of Colombia’s guerrilla organizations is Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Since its founding in 1964, the ­left-­wing terrorist group has been responsible for the death of thousands of Colombians. Here, a child rides his bike past the ruins of a house in the northern town of Tierradentro, where 17 police officers and two citizens were killed by the group in November ­2006.

racial and cultural heritage. When the Spanish arrived, most of Colombia’s native peoples practiced a traditional folk culture and subsistence economy. They were ­self-­governing tribal sys-­ tems and worshipped their own deities in their own way. With the conquest, a strange and foreign culture was imposed on



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