Robert Kagan and Aroop Mukharji write in today's Washington Post:
There is plenty of pessimism about democracy these days, and autocrats seem to be on the march on every continent. So we should take note when democracy triumphs over autocratic temptations.
That's what happened in Colombia recently. President Álvaro Uribe had hinted for some time that he might run for a third consecutive term, despite the constitution's two-term limit. Last summer Colombia's House and Senate, controlled by allies of Uribe, passed a bill to change the constitution. The next and final step was a popular referendum in May to endorse Uribe's reelection. If that sounds familiar, it should. It was by popular referendum that Venezuela's Hugo Chávez installed himself as a virtual president-for-life. But late last month Colombia's constitutional court rejected the bill. The referendum is dead, and Colombia's democracy lives.
Vanessa Neumann has more on Columbia in this week's issue.