Violence and Political Order in Post-Conflict Colombia: An analysis of the assassination of social leaders

Since the signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) in late 2016, most indicators of violence and armed conflict have declined. Against this overall trend, one type of violence has seen a marked increase: the assas­sination of social leaders. The social leaders that are particularly targeted include represen­tatives of local citizens’ committees (Juntas de Acción Comunal), of indigenous, Afro-Colombian, and peasant asso­ciations as well as of social movements and organizations active in the fields of human rights, land reform, or environ­mental concerns. This form of targeted violence is, thus, directed towards the very people who, particularly at local level, advocate for the concerns and rights of disadvantaged societal groups and push for the local-level implemen­tation of the reforms envisaged by the 2016 peace agreement.

While the current wave of assas­sination of social leaders in Colombia is frequently attributed to the presence of armed non-state actors and their fight for control over illegal economies, this project aims at investi­gating the explicitly political logic behind this worri­some phenomenon. More specifically, it studies whether and how the very modus operandi of local autho­ritarian orders in Colombia’s peripheral regions shapes this type of targeted violence against civilians. Methodologically, it uses statistical analysis, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and qualitative case studies.

The project is conducted in cooperation with ICESI University in Cali, Colombia, in the context of the Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz (CAPAZ). It has received financial support by CAPAZ and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Colombia (FESCOL). Non-PRIF members of the project include: Juan Albarracín (University of Notre Dame, United States), Juan Pablo Milanese and Inge H. Valencia (both ICESI University, Colombia). The findings of the project are made available in academic studies as well as in policy-oriented publications.

Project director:
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La lógica política del asesinato de líderes sociales en Colombia | 2022

Albarracín, Juan/Wolff, Jonas (2022): La lógica política del asesinato de líderes sociales en Colombia, El Espectador // Colombia + 20, 29.1.2022.

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2
Desmantelando autoritarismos competitivos locales | 2021

Corredor, Juan/Wolff, Jonas/Albarracín, Juan/Milanese, Juan Pablo/Valencia, Inge Helena (2021): Desmantelando autoritarismos competitivos locales, in: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Colombia (FESCOL) (ed.), Análisis, http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/kolumbien/17627.pdf.

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3
Violencia y participación electoral en el posconflicto | 2020

Albarracín, Juan/Milanese, Juan Pablo/Valencia, Inge Helena/Wolff, Jonas (2020): Violencia y participación electoral en el posconflicto, Bogotá: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, www.library.fes.de/(...).

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4
La lógica política de los asesinatos de líderes sociales | 2020

Albarracín, Juan/Milanese, Juan Pablo/Valencia, Inge Helena/Navarro, Margarita/Wolff, Jonas (2020): La lógica política de los asesinatos de líderes sociales. Autoritarismo competitivo local y violencia en el posacuerdo, Bogotá: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, www.library.fes.de/(...).

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5
The Political Logic of Violence | 2020

Albarracín, Juan/Milanese, Juan Pablo/Valencia, Inge Helena/Wolff, Jonas (2020): The Political Logic of Violence. The assassination of social leaders in the context of authoritarian local orders in Colombia, PRIF Spotlight 15/2020, Frankfurt/M.

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6
Die politische Logik der Gewalt | 2020

Albarracín, Juan/Milanese, Juan Pablo/Valencia, Inge Helena/Wolff, Jonas (2020): Die politische Logik der Gewalt. Zur Ermordung sozialer Aktivist*innen im Kontext autoritärer lokaler Ordnungen in Kolumbien, PRIF Spotlight 14/2020, Frankfurt/M.

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Partners

Donors

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung en Colombia (FESCOL)
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung en Colombia (FESCOL)
https://colombia.fes.de/
Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz (CAPAZ)
Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz (CAPAZ)
https://www.instituto-capaz.org/