Colombia: War, Peace and Jobs

President Andrés Pastrana of Colombia is about to leave office, his bold peace plans in tatters. As his successor is chosen in May elections, the army is trying to reassert control over the vast area ceded to the guerrillas during the talks. They in turn are back to violence. Colombians are tired of the vicious dispute between state and insurgents.

The World Today
3 minute READ

Carlos A. Romero

Venezuelan political scientist, Universidad Central de Venezuela

Eira Ramos

Assistant Professor, Universidad Central de Venezuela

Colombia is locked in a forty-year-old war that has claimed 40,000 lives in the past decade alone. It has also taken a brutal toll on economic output, increasing political and military instability, in doing so producing the Colombian crisis.

Traditionally, there have been two interpretations of political life since the renewal of democracy in 1957. The first emphasises how an increasingly democratic political system, under the control of an elite group – including coffee barons, agricultural and cattle farmers, an emerging industrial sector, the leadership of the main traditional political parties and the military – has attracted the moderate support of the people.

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