UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Paramilitary Conflict in Colombia: A Case Study of Economic Causes of Conflict Recidivism Prieto Bustos, William Orlando; Manrique-Hernandez, Johanna


Following the peace accord on 26 September 2016 between the Colombian government and the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), significant structural issues persisted in Colombia, such as state fragility, land distribution challenges, and rural impoverishment, all of which jeopardized sustainable peace. Previous disarmament events indicated potential shifts in violence and recidivism rates among ex-combatants. This paper aims to determine the likelihood that, in the post-conflict era with FARC, these ex-combatants would rearm themselves into new criminal factions. Employing a methodology by Paul Collier, the study utilized logit, probit, and panel data models with both fixed and random effects to evaluate the recidivism risk at the municipal level. A 1% increase in per capita municipal income decreased conflict probability due to the increased opportunity cost of disrupting economic endeavors. Conversely, 1% increases in potential conflict benefits from tax revenue and natural resource proceeds raised the probability of conflict by 40% and 17%, respectively. Key results indicate that economic advancement, as measured by per capita income, reduced the duration of paramilitary presence, whereas revenue from taxes and natural resources extended it at the municipal level in Colombia.

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CC BY 4.0