Myth of the 20th Century: The Para-State – An Ethnography of Colombia’s Death Squads

Deep in the jungles of Colombia, a place so thick with vegetation and rugged with mountains that the government was unable to defeat a guerrilla insurgency for 53 years, law and order is a matter of who wields the strongest weapon. Sitting at the crossroads of South and North America as well as the Atlantic and the Pacific, Colombia’s history has been colored by the cocaine industry, funneling billions of export dollars into the hands of otherwise poor farmers. Yet the majority of this money, because of the illicit nature of the product, stayed outside the official economy, and was often controlled by notorious drug kingpins such as Pablo Escobar. Along the sidelines, using it to fund their war against what they saw as a corrupt oligarchy and their paramilitary forces, was the FARC, receiving military support from communist countries against the government’s CIA-backed weaponry. In 2016, a peace agreement formed a tentative truce, and the country struggled to integrate millions of former fighters who have for most of their lives known only war.

The Myth of the 20th Century – Episode 117 – The Para-State – An Ethnography of Colombia’s Death Squads

— References —

– Clear and Present Danger, Noyce (1994)
– The Para-State: An Ethnography of Colombia’s Death Squads, Civico (2015)
– Dark Alliance – The CIA, Contras, and the Crack-Cocaine Epidemic, Myth of the 20th Century (2016) – https://myth20c.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/dark-alliance-the-cia-contras-and-the-crack-cocaine-epidemic/
– The FARC’s Riches: Up to $580 Million in Annual Income, McDermott (2017) – https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/farc-riches-yearly-income-up-to-580-million/
– Pinochet – Life and Legacy in Chile, Myth of the 20th Century (2017) – https://myth20c.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/pinochet-life-and-legacy-in-chile/
– Spanish Civil War – Fascist Uprising, Myth of the 20th Century (2018) – https://myth20c.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/spanish-civil-war-fascist-uprising/
– Spanish Civil War – Collapse of the Left, Myth of the 20th Century (2018) – https://myth20c.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/spanish-civil-war-collapse-of-the-left/

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