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When Protection Collapses: Post-Demobilization Trajectories of Violence
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, Institute of Latin American Studies. Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.
2014 (English)In: Terrorism and Political Violence, ISSN 0954-6553, E-ISSN 1556-1836Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The implementation of peacebuilding activities, including the demobilization of non-state illegal actors, does not necessarily bring about a reduction in violence. While there are several theories that address the causes of persistent violence, there are few that adequately explain why rates of violence can rapidly increase in a post-demobilization context. Using the method of process tracing, this article explores the case of Córdoba Department, Colombia, where rates of violence have increased after the demobilization of paramilitary groups (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia [AUC]) in 2005. We argue that the AUC created and maintained a monopolistic illegal protection system during its years of operation, and this type of local order was able to contain violence. After demobilization, the protection system was disrupted and as a consequence, new competition between post-demobilization criminal organizations for existing illegal rents developed, petty crime became pervasive, and revenge killings spiked, thus contributing to increased rates of violence in the post-demobilization period. Our theory about the breakdown of protection finds support in other AUC-dominated regions of Colombia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Colombia, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR), non-state armed groups, peacebuilding, post-conflict, violence
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123085DOI: 10.1080/09546553.2014.955916OAI: diva2:871399
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13 Last updated: 2015-12-22

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Nussio, Enzo
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