The Effects of War and Peace on Foreign Aid inColombia Colombia isone of the oldest developing countries in Latin America with a diversified andgrowing economy. With solid functioning institutions, progressive laws, an active civilsociety, and abundant natural resources.Columbia’s main agricultural products include coffee, tobacco, bananas, andsugarcane, with its prime industry being textiles, food processing, and oil.
Thispaper will discuss what the effect of war and peace have on foreign aid inColombia.The Positive and Negative Effects thatPeace and War have on Foreign Aid inColombia War is a state of usually open and declared hostile armedconflict between states or nations(www.meriam-webster.com). In most cases, war is a pre-planned action that isbetween different groups with the intention of gaining the psychological hierarchyor the material hierarchy of supremacy or equality amongst two or more groups.
Peaceis a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war orin a state of enmity(www.merriam-webster.com). War and peace, have contributed to influentialattraction and distribution of foreign aid in Colombia. Colombia follows the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.The Paris Declaration is a practical, action-oriented roadmap to improve thequality of aid and its impact on development(www.oecd.org).
A positive effect that the war and peace have inColombia is the fact that Canada is part of the Donors group and the G24, thesetwo groups maintain an ongoing and constructive dialogue with the Colombiangovernment and civil society on issues of development, peace, and human rights(www.international.gc.ca).
A negative effect is that Colombia is still in anongoing dispute with their government. Human lives have paid the price for theconflict between the government. Thousands of lives lost, making Colombia oneof the largest populations of internally displaced people, many of whom havedisappeared. Another negative is the division of society in Colombia and theranking of class interest. Colombia suffers from a weak state with large areas ofterritory in which the government is unable to exercise effective control. In 1999 peace process began between President Pastranaand the FARC, and in two thousand between Pastrana and the ELN. Popular supporthas made these groups push for negotiations and the fact that none of them havethe guns or political support to win the conflict militarily.As part of thepeace process, President Pastrana and the FARC created a demilitarized zoneabout the size of Switzerland in the mid-south of Colombia(www.
usglc.org/peace-colombia). There have been almost four decades of constantbrutal armed conflict between the national army, leftist guerrilla movementsand right-wing paramilitary forces in Colombia. The victims of the conflicthave been the civilians, primarily church and community leaders, human rightsworkers, and local labor organizers. The U.S. government sent more than 1.3billion dollars in mostly military aid, to fight the war on drugs, in Colombia.
U.S. military aid only escalates Colombia’s violent conflict, and this is apositive effect on the war and peace on foreign aid in Colombia(www.usglc.
org/peace-colombia). The U.S. military aid to Colombia includes aerial fumigationof coca crops with toxic herbicides, weapons purchases, and military training.
Witnessfor Peace joined other human rights organizations in expressing concern for thesupport of the Colombian Army, which has ties to brutal paramilitary groups(www.usglc.org/peace-colombia).
Colombian church and human rights leaders called forsolidarity. They organized a delegation to evaluate the U.S. aid to Colombia,and get information about the effects of U.S. policies on the current situation.The delegation interviewed members of Colombian civil society, internally displacedpeople, government officials, and the U.S.
Embassy personnel(www.usglc.org/peace-colombia). Colombian leadership has taken action on the allocationof foreign aid from donor nations and international lending institutions, torelieve the severe problems caused by warfare. Andres Pastrana, the presidentof Colombia with the support of Bill Clinton president of the U.S. at the time,launched a plan in September of 1999 as an investment in the region of 7.
5billion dollars over a span of five years. In this plan, Colombia shouldcontribute 4 billion. The European Union was to fund the rest even though theyfelt that it was an overly militaristic plan. The first part of the U.S.
aidwas emergency aid they distributed 1.3 billion dollars throughout the year twothousand. Of the 1.3 billion dollars, 321 million comprised the socialcomponent of Plan Colombia. That included alternative development, with other socialand economic programs along with the support of the peace process(www.usglc.org/peace-colombia). The rights of the people have been taken away underthe current situation of fighting terrorism.
A big fear is that the governmentwill start openly calling union activities terrorist activities. The people incivil society will be the ones persecuted under this law. The help of foreign aid has not significantly reducedpoverty in Colombia. There is a desperate human rights situation in Colombia, andthe short-term prospects for improvement do not look good. Ther was an averageof more than one massacre and one thousand people displaced per day(www.usglc.
org/peacw-colombia). Paramilitary groups practically control the rule ofColombia; they exercise military control over the entire area. Colombia is anation that is rich in natural resources. Therefore paramilitary groups areespecially interested in them. Centralization is insufficient in Colombia anddoes not have complete control over all of its territories. The country canprovide security and public services in large urban areas such as Bogota andBarranquilla; there is a lot of the country where they provide few publicservices and almost no law and order. Which allows alternative groups and people,such as Mancuso, control politics and resources.
In parts of the country,economic institutions function quite well, with high levels of human capitaland entrepreneurial skill: in other parts the institutions are highlyextractive, even failing to provide a minimal degree of state authority(SoomoUnderstanding Development fourth edition, 2016).