Based in part on field research Harvey Kline conducted during multiple visits to Bogota, this book analyzes the relations between the administrations of Virgilio Barco Vargas (1986-1990) and Cesar Caviria Trujillo (1990-1994) and the violent leftist faction that controlled many parts of the country Kline details and compares the leaders' attempts to use peaceful means - including indirect bargaining, democratization of the constitution, and judicial reform - to suppress the country's lawbreaking elements, a strategic break with the government's 150-year reliance on force. Kline analyzes these administrations' successes and failures and, finding no significant improvement in the lives of Colombians, points to three major culprits: the lack of tradition of peaceful conflict resolution; the increased problems arising from urbanization and modernization; and the vast amount of money brought into the country by the drug trade. In the end, Kline sounds a final note of pessimism for the country's future. This volume continues to be of great interest to scholars of Latin American and peace studies, as well as to policymakers and analysts of Latin American politics. It provides previously unavailable material on recent efforts to end political and societal conflict in Colombia and makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the country's efforts to build a strong democratic state amidst violent opposition.