WAR CONFLICT IN COLOMBIA
MARTA LUCIA ALVAREZ GALVIS
MA INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND GLOBALISATION
ESSAY – GIP064N
DECEMBER 15th, 2009
One of the oldest conflicts in the world is the War Colombian conflict. Even if the period called La Violencia during the 50's is excluded, we are discussing roughly 40 years of armed struggle in this territorywith most of the same rebel groups. Nevertheless, naturally in such a long time the intensity and nature of the conflict has changed and fluctuate between periods of low intensity and war.
According to most of the analysts, from the 1980's until today, Colombia has been experiencing the highest waves of violence due to the convergence of several forms of non-state violence challenging the state(drug traffickers, several guerrillas, and militia). The armed conflict in the past 50 years has shaped the physiognomy of public relations and the domestic economic situation causing severe restrictions on democratic participation.
The main purpose of this essay is to analyze the origins and principal causes of the conflict;, as well as the main participants in the conflict, their attemptresolution and an attempt to explain why conflict resolution in Colombia failed.
A better understanding of the armed conflict in Colombia, it is necessary to go back several decades and learn about key historical events that have marked of war and death. According to Vanden ( 2006), the traditional political parties in the country have been the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party.Between 1863 and 1885, the Liberal Party ruled under a constitution that was a federalist, and liberal ideas. Meanwhile, from 1886 to 1930, the Conservative Party centrally governed under a constitution, which restored the privileges of the Church.
Nevertheless, in 1930, there was an internal division of the Conservative Party in presidential elections, which allowed the Liberal candidate won andagain this party was in power. With their rise to power, the Liberals tried to expand the electorate, to limit the influence of the Church, and respond to the demands of urban workers and peasant movements. Nonetheless, in the 1946 presidential elections, the Liberal Party split fielding two presidential candidates, which permitted the Conservative candidate, won elections. The period between 1946and almost up to 1960's is known as "La Violencia", a civil war between conservative and liberal supporters.
“La Violencia” took more strength in 1948 with the assassination of Jorge Eliecer Gaitán, a populist politician leader of the Liberal Party. Gaitán wanted to expand the Liberal Party beyond its oligarchic tradition and include the middle and working class. In "La Violencia" more than200,000 people were killed.
Because of the war waged between political parties, in the 1950's increased migration to cities due to the escalating conflict between the Liberal and the Conservative parties for power. Es así como se establecen the first guerrilla groups in remote mountainous areas and in populated rural areas in the eastern plains. Due to the pressure exerted by these groupsestablished a military dictatorship in order to permit monitoring in conflict zones. This government was succeeded by a two-party system between liberals and conservatives since 1958, called the National Front.
According to Dugas (2006:508) the core of the national front was a rigid agreement that provided for power sharing by the two traditional parties and extensive giantess to protect their mutualinterest. Thus, the emergence of groups outside the law, begun their struggles against land reform. These movements advocated the rights of peasants and alleged violations by the State, which led to data they wish to defend themselves and take justice into their own.
By the 1970's, four were active guerrilla movements in Colombia: The communists and "liberal commons" mobilize to become the...