appropriate response to the ‘terrorist threat’ in a manner which precludes the possibility of state terrorism, the US and Colombian governments legitimise thecontinuance of a brutal armed campaign not only against guerrilla insurgencies, butalso against progressive elements of civil society whom oppose human rights abusesand neoliberal economic reform. The subjugation of alternative approaches to theconflict, which aim to expose state terrorism and espouse non-violent solutions, isvital for the continuation of the conflict in defence of elite interests.After introducing the present-day situation in Colombia and the literary context anddetails of the theoretical approach of the paper, I will analyse the definitions of terrorism upon which the U.S and Colombian governments base their framing of theconflict, before subjecting these definitions to a first-order and second-order immanent critique.
II. Conflict and Human Rights in Colombia
Colombia has been torn apart by conflict since the late 1940s. What began as a war between rival liberal and conservative elites evolved, in the 1950s, into class conflict between those same elites on the one hand and peasant colonisers who would go on toform the
Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia
(FARC – RevolutionaryArmed Forces of Colombia). Joined by fellow Marxists of the
Ejercito de Liberación Nacional
(ELN – National Liberation Army), the FARC would engage in what became an archetypal Cold-War conflict against the Colombian armed forces, aided by right-wing paramilitary groups, and with the training, equipment and tuition of theUnited States
. During the 1980s all sides, particularly the paramilitaries
, deepenedtheir involvement in Colombia’s booming narcotrafficking trade, a fact which hasmade more difficult the resolution of the conflict.