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Summary. Main inquiries : Explaining Lack of sustained socio-economic development Explaining Lack of political stability Different theoretical approaches Case Studies The paradox of Argentina and Brazil : rich in natural resources but economically and politically unstable, why?

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Summary l.jpg
Summary

  • Main inquiries:

    • Explaining Lack of sustained socio-economic development

    • Explaining Lack of political stability

  • Different theoretical approaches

  • Case Studies

  • The paradox of Argentina and Brazil: rich in natural resources but economically and politically unstable, why?

  • The paradox of Chile. Almost two centuries of political stability but it faced a backlash during the 1970s, why?

  • Today, the paradox of Colombia


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Colombia’s Paradox

  • Two Paradox (Contradictions)

  • (a) The most violent country in Latin America but it has had a continuous democratic rule since 1958.

  • (b) The more money has been invested to eliminate drug-traffic, the more production of drugs we observe.


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OverviewColombia, the usual path

  • (a) Concentration of land in few hands

  • (b) Economically depend on exporting raw material (Coffee, crude-oil, coal)

  • ( c) Racially divided: white (European descendent, less than 10%), mestizo (85%), indigenous (5%)

  • 1948/58 --> Civil war after attempt to introduce land reform. La violencia period, 200,000 deaths

  • 1958-2001 --> Government controlled by two parties (Conservative and Liberal). Both pro-status quo; alternation in power.

  • 1960s --> Emergence of Guerrilla movement, FARC and ENL (Marxist orientation. Social transformation agenda.

  • Based on rural areas. ENL (North), FARC (South)

  • 1960s --> Landowner responded organizing paramilitary groups.

  • 1980s --> Emergence of Narco-dealers


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OverviewColombia: Armed Actors

  • The Government: low control over the military

  • The Armed Forces and Security Forces: 50,000-60,000

  • The Paramilitary: 7,000-10,000 (linked to the Armed Forces, landowners, narco-dealers). Responsible of 80% of the deaths in Colombia

    • Since 1996, they act as a United Self-defense forces of Colombia

    • They tax illegal drug industry to obtain resources

    • They are involved in drug trafficking

    • Strategy: Massacre of small villages to attack suspects

  • The Guerrilla: 15,000-20,000 (Today, linked to narco-dealers). Responsible of 15% of politically-motivated deaths.

    • Control of 42,000 km2,

    • kidnapping for profit

    • tax coca cultivation and production for profit


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OverviewThe results

  • Guerrilla war since 1960s and Narco-traffic war since 1980s.

  • Some Results 1960s-2001

  • 1.8 million forcibly displaced

  • More than 120,000 deaths as a direct result of these conflicts

  • Average of 3,000 kidnapping a year. (1/2 guerrilla, 1/2 criminals)

  • Recent Statistics.

  • 1960s-1990s 3,000 deaths average per year

  • 1999--22,957 deaths

  • 2000

  • 134,000 people displaced

  • Press estimate: 68 murders per day (7,000 deaths)


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First Paradox:Violence and democratic rule

  • High level of conflicts -- but elected governments since 1948. Why?

  • Structure of the economy

  • Political factors:

  • Coalition politics

  • Exclusion of certain actors

  • Key: the military


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Second Paradox:The more you invest in counter-narcotics aidThe more traffic you observe

  • Higher investment:

  • Since 1980 the U.S. Has spent over $ 25 billion on international anti-drug programs

  • Between 1996-2000 the U.S. invested $ 1 billion in counter-narcotics aid, increasing 68% in relation to the 1990-1996 period.

  • But bad results,

  • Coca cultivation double in Colombia between 1996-2000

  • More illicit drugs are available in the US and at cheaper prices


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Coca CultivationThousand of Hectares


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The paradox:More investment in anti-narcotics warbut no results

  • Why do you think this has been the case?


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The Coca problem

  • High incentives to grow coca and not alternative products

    • Weather

    • Characteristics of the plant

  • Peasants do not profit from coca cultivation.

    • Intermediary receive main profit (drug-dealers)

  • Geographical conditions make hard to detect laboratories

  • Profits from drug-traffic are incredible, given the demand!

    • Estimate 5 billion a year

    • Drugs dealers still profit paying guerrilla, paramilitary, politicians

    • Dealers could lose 90% of the profit and still be profitable

  • Another incentive: International arm traffic


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The U.S. And the Drug Problem

  • Why does the US care about drug-traffic?

  • Total local cost is estimate in $110 billion a year (military aid, accidents, health care, lost productivity) 1 million hard-core drug users; 52,000 annual deaths for drug-abuse.

  • Thus, drug-traffic is a national security problem for the US

  • Colombia, the second most important recipient of US aid.

  • 90% of cocaine consumed in the US came from Colombia

  • How the U.S. Is dealing with this problem?

  • (a) Controlling Demand. Law enforcement and drug treatment programs. Only 57% of hard-core users have access to programs.

  • (b) Controlling traffic. Law enforcement, border control.

  • ( c) Controlling supply. Cutting coca production.


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Plan Colombia: A new attempt to reduce supply

  • Colombia’s government plan. September 1999

  • Objectives:

    • Peace negotiation with armed groups

    • Alternative economic development for affected regions

    • Promoting institutional reform to guarantee rule of law

    • Training Colombian military forces

    • Eliminating drug supply (Spraying coca cultivation, confronting groups)

  • Amount required: 7 billion dollars

  • Amount received: 3 billion dollars (US - 1.3 billion; Europe-300 million)

  • U.S. Aid: 1.3 billion (plus new $400 million this year)

    • 80% military aid. From this 80%, 70% will remain in the US

    • 20% economic development


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Discussion question

  • What are the consequences of the Plan Colombia? (see readings--Vargas, Human Rights Watch)

  • Think critically: do you agree with the following statement:

  • “Assisting the Colombian government with training and equipment will enable to reduce illegal drug production”


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