Colombian State fails victims of the armed conflict as farmer evictions continue

Original article published on my personal blog

The taste of social injustice, especially when committed by the State, is bitter. The feeling of impotence is overpowering.

On Wednesday 13 December, local government and police forces engineered a coup in the rural communities of El Guayabo and Bella Unión, in the Colombian department of Santander. About one hundred policemen, half of them from the riot control unit, successfully evicted 9 peasant families from their land (affecting at least 40 people). These farmers now face a humanitarian crisis due to loss of their livelihoods.

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Colombia’s dirty business: the role of private sector interests in the Colombian armed conflict, case study of Las Pavas

What are the impacts of armed conflict on a country’s economy? Most academics and conflict experts tend to stress the negative economic impact of armed conflict and civil war, what with the disruption of production and trade as well as the plundering and extortion of civilians.

Despite this widespread consensus, a few countries that have had long and protracted conflicts do not seem to have been very affected economically. Colombia is a prime example, with its almost unbroken history of economic growth and strong agricultural production coexisting with world-record levels of forced displacement, a product of its 50 year-old conflict.

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