Conflict, Violence and Criminal Activity in Colombia: A Spatial Analysis
Universidad de los Andes, CEDE Working Paper No. 2003-05
60 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2003
Date Written: March 2003
This document analyzes the existing relationship between the armed conflict and the different manifestations of violence and criminal activity. For this purpose, a historical review on the internal conflicts and civil wars in Colombia since the XIX Century is presented, with emphasis on the Violence Period (1926-1962), followed by the analysis of the origin and evolution of the illegally armed groups in Colombia (FARC-EP, ELN and paramilitary groups). Likewise, the document describes the trends of violence and criminal activity indicators, and analyzes, by using spatial analysis techniques, the existing dynamics between conflict and violent crimes. Finally and using spatial econometric tools, the determinants of violent crimes (homicides, kidnapping, crimes against property and robbery) are shown. The results suggest that persistence and spatial diffusion are present in all crimes. The efficiency of justice, the narcotraffic, and, to a great extent, the activity of the illegally armed groups, are the variables that mostly explain violence (homicides). Furthermore, kidnapping is basically explained by the activity of those groups. Therefore, the results of this paper show that the conflict dynamics determines the global violence dynamics in the country and not only the deaths directly associated with the conflict.
Keywords: Violence, Armed Conflict, Crime, Spatial Econometrics, Diffusion
JEL Classification: R12, R19, K14, C13, C19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation