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Gutiérrez D, José Antonio and Thomson, Frances (2020) 'Rebels-Turned-Narcos? The FARC-EP’s Political Involvement in Colombia’s Cocaine Economy.' Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 44 (1). pp. 26-51.

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According to the ‘rebels-turned-narcos’ premise, increasing involve- ment in the illicit drug industry causes insurgent groups to lose sight of their political aims, as they shift their focus to profit-making. The (former) Colombian rebel group, the FARC-EP, became a paragon for this idea. Drawing on primary research, we argue that the FARC-EP’s involvement in the illicit drug economy was itself political. Their involvement included governance activities, which are by their very nature political. Furthermore, these activities formed part of the FARC-EP’s political project, aimed at ensuring the reproduction of the peasant smallholder economy. Our argument challenges the reb- els-turned-narcos premise more broadly by showing why involve- ment in the illicit drug economy, on its own, is insufficient evidence to posit the depoliticization of an insurgent group.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: illicit drugs; armed insurgency; Colombia; coca/cocaine; FARC-EP; rebel governance
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences
J Political Science
ISSN: 1057610X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2020 10:30
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Other

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