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Colombians Living Under Siege

The citizens of Valledupar, Colombia, live two hours from beautiful mountains, Caribbean beaches and clear-water rivers. But it's a huge risk to visit any of these places. In fact, it's dangerous to go more than five minutes in any direction. If you don't run into the paramilitaries, you'll run into the guerillas. And if they think there's any chance you or your family have money (or if you're American or work for the government), they'll kidnap you. So people in this hot, dusty town have become used to staying home, watching TV and generally being cooped up. NPR's Martin Kaste brings us a portrait of life under siege.

Copyright 2003 NPR

Martin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers law enforcement and privacy. He has been focused on police and use of force since before the 2014 protests in Ferguson, and that coverage led to the creation of NPR's Criminal Justice Collaborative.