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Colombia Internacional

Print version ISSN 0121-5612


VELASCO, Juan David; DUNCAN, Gustavo  and  LOPERA, Felipe. Oligarchy, Political Power and Drug-trafficking in Colombia: The Cases of Medellín, Santa Marta and Muzo. [online]. 2018, n.95, pp.167-201. ISSN 0121-5612.

The following article introduces the concept of “dilution” to show that the emergence of narcotics trafficking and the territorial advance of paramilitarism in Colombia did not imply a total collapse or complete replacement of the traditional oligarchies. Instead, the events followed three different paths: the first was found in the big cities, where the capital from drugs and the armed conflict did not affect the relative wealth of the traditional oligarchies. The second was found in the intermediate cities, where there was a strategic accommodation to the new circumstances, so that the power exercised by the traditional oligarchies was not supplanted. And the third, in the peripheral areas with a wealth of minerals (as in the territories of the owners of the emerald mines), where oligarchies did not exist before, so that, in the end, drug-traffickers and paramilitary leaders were able to turn themselves into oligarchs, thanks to their links to crime and the use of private violence.

Keywords : corruption; clientelism; drug-trafficking; oligarchies.

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