Nearly 4,000 soldiers have died in the last 10 years of Colombia’s armed conflict but few if any of those deaths have received such widespread and virulent condemnation as that of the 11 soldiers (a further 20 were injured) who were “ambushed”, according to the armed forces, with grenades, explosives and firearms while sleeping in a gym in the municipality of Buenos Aires in the south-western department of Cauca. President Santos attended one of the funerals in Bogotá, where he even acted as a pallbearer, but he has been jeered at every public event he has attended over the course of the last week.

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