In the name of security?
Counter-terrorism and insurgency policies and civil society in Colombia
in Counter-terrorism and civil society
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Over more than fifty years Colombian society has undergone one of the most violent and bloodiest internal wars in the contemporary world, involving different actors like left-wing guerrillas, right-wing groups, and institutional forces. This situation, intertwined with the events of 9/11, which added to the strong relationship with the United States, aligned Colombian security policies in the line of counter-terrorist American actions, materialized locally as a counterinsurgency program. Known as “Democratic Security” (DS), this was coined by President Alvaro Uribe, unfolded between 2002 and 2010 and was continued by his successor Juan Manuel Santos (2010–2014), which in its first phase incorporated many American discourses, not only to respond to local threats but also to ask for economic and military support framed under the umbrella of “Plan Colombia.” DS showed its effectiveness against insurgent groups, mainly FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces), which was useful to pressure this insurgency to begin a peace negotiation afterwards, however it has a dark side in civil society, including extrajudicial killings, the persecution of political opponents, a dirty war against some communities, and diplomatic tension with Venezuela. In this respect, this chapter describes and analyzes main aspects related to DS and its effects on civil society from a midterm historical perspective.

Counter-terrorism and civil society

Post-9/11 progress and challenges

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