Weak states vs.

strong states
State strength = ability of government to

command loyalty and trust from the people. – Kalevi J. Holsti
Two important factors: Vertical legitimacy Horizontal legitimacy

Vertical and horizontal legitimacy
Based on: Social contract between state and society Societal participation in public decision Agreement in rules of the political game Sovereignty Clear distinctions between public service and public gain

Colombia is a weak state
Reason proposed: Conservative and Liberal partiesOriginal formation prevented “territorial fragmentation” and created a nationally unifying force for the people  HOWEVER  War of a Thousand Days  El Bogotazo

Geography of country

Absence of legal authority in many regions  Allows formation of parastate actors

United States: Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) George Bush (1989-1993) Bill Clinton (1993-2001) George W. Bush (2001-present) Colombia:
Virgilio Barco (1986-1990) Cesar Gaviria (1990-1994) Ernesto Samper (1994-1998) Andres Pastrana (1998-2002) Alvaro Uribe (2002-present)

Reagan (1981-1989)
 April 1986 National Security Decision Directive 221

Barco (1986-1990)
Asserted independence

from United States
 Emphasized relations

Mandated military involvement of the armed forces Supply-side actions: illegalization of drugs, crop fumigation, eradication Demand-side actions: penalization of the traffic, distribution, and consumption of narcotics

with other regions of the world  Preservation of Colombian autonomy

However Faithful ally to the U.S. in

the war on drugs Hardline approach

Bush Sr. (1989-1993)
Andean Initiative

Gaviria (1990-1994)
 Priority to Colombia’s

foreign economic relations  Not a hard-line approach  Clear distinction between narco-terrorism and the drug traffic  1990 Plea bargaining system  1991Constitutional Assembly
 Prohibition of extradition

of Colombian nationals

 1992-Pablo Escobar

escapes but is killed in Dec 1993  May 1994- legalization of

Clinton (1993-2008)
 In campaign Plans to refocus efforts on demand-based strategies  In office Decreases drug-related assistance to Andean region  1994-criticized for soft-line approach  1998- Approved the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act  Refers to Colombia as “narco-democracy” not “ally.”

Samper (1994-1998)
Campaign fraud Colombian govt.

acknowledges responsibility of state in the Trujillo massacres Human rights policies created but given secondary status to military support. Resists U.S. pressure with “survival strategy.” Proceso 8000

Clinton (1998-2001)
 Makes a pledge to support

Pastrana (1998-2002)
 Campaign:  Challenges wisdom of US policies  Presents peace plan, promotes plans for trade relations  After FARC murders,

Pastrana’s peace process  Dec. 1998- Govt. officials meet with FARC in Costa Rica  Dec. 1998- US and Colombia sign agreement to strengthen military  1999-military assistance $289 million  Stance hardened toward peace process when FARC murders 3 Americans.  $1.6 billion aid package proposed  Dec. 2000- massive fumigation  2001-U.S. Report on Human

numerous officials resign.  Pastrana’s approach is ‘soft’ on guerrillas  To get U.S. aid, Pastrana takes a more hard-line approach and allows most of aid to be diverted towards militaristic goals.  2000-armed strike by FARC

Human rights
Jan. 1995: Samper govt. admits responsibility

for Trujillo massacres. Sept. 1996: Leahy Amendment during Clinton administration
Suspends military assistance to units implicated

in human rights violations Clinton ignores Amendment and sells $169 million in military equipment to the Colombian Army.

Dec. 2000 massive fumigation causes crop

loss and health issues. 2001 U.S. Report on Human Rights

Organizing thoughts
Colombia is a weak state because there is a

lack of vertical and horizontal legitimacyWhere is this articulated?  Gaviria’s administration?  Samper’s administration?  Pastrana’s administration?

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