Colombia

The 'Security Trap' in Latin America: Using the State to Fight Violence with Violence

February 21, 2019

Latin America and the Caribbean is considered to be the most violent region in the world. Despite widespread gains in education, poverty reduction, and living standards, Latin American countries continue to have disproportionately high rates of violent crime. Some may find this puzzling, since many of these countries have particularly powerful military and police forces. This then raises the question: Why haven't new policing strategies in the region had any impact? Is Latin America in a 'Security Trap'?

Could dark tourism bring a light to Latin American issues?

December 20, 2018

While the concept of tourism in areas of historic tragedies is far from being a modern phenomenon, it was only recently that the term dark tourism was created and regarded by academics.  Dark tourism was first written about by two men, John Lennon and Malcolm Foley, in their 2000 book that investigated “tourist interest in recent death, disaster, and atrocity.”  In 2011, Dom Joly published what would become one of the first reflections of such travel in his book called The Dark Tourist (Gilbert 2018).

Changes in Colombian Drug Cultivation and Culture: A Potential Shift from Cocaine to Medical Marijuana

November 12, 2018

Between the 1980s and early 2000s, Colombia was notorious for drug trafficking and the cultivation of illegal drugs, primarily Cocaine. The Colombian drug traffickers were the primary suppliers of cocaine in many Unites States cities during the later half of the century and were the lead suppliers for the Miami “crack cocaine epidemic” that killed hundreds of Americans due to overdoses and thousands of Colombians and Americans alike in drug violence.

'Robin Hood' Criminal Groups: Providing for the Community when the Government Cannot

November 7, 2018
Jesus Malverde, the proclaimed patron saint of narcos, is praised in Mexico as a Robin Hood figure. His legacy of committing crimes to provide for the poor has inspired many criminal groups to follow suit, earning them a similar reputation among the people.

Conventional perceptions of Latin America’s organized criminal groups tend to emphasize the greed and violence produced by these groups when, in reality, their existence is much more nuanced than this. Although most associate the presence of criminal groups with heightened levels of violence or drug use, these groups usually do much more than this, often providing certain services and resources to local communities.

Ongoing Paramilitary Violence in the aftermath of the Colombian Peace Deals

November 9, 2018

For more than half a century, Colombians have been caught in the midst of violence between “La Violencia”, guerilla groups, and drug lords. After one conflict ended, another began, and when there seemed to be a lull in the violence and a chance for peace, a presidential candidate would be assassinated, or a guerilla bomb would leave the country’s infrastructure devastated. In 2016, the Colombian Peace Deal between then-president Juan Manuel Santos and the (write out the acronym) FARC guerilla group seemed to be the first real sign that Colombia was emerging from its decades of violence.

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