Crm.2300.1.A+B Strain Theory and Colombia Class 10 - According to Merton people react to being excluded from the access to social mobility in a number of ways. Conformity, Ritualism, and Retreatism are also reactions one will encounter in a country like Colombia. However, in addition to innovation, or the turn toward criminal activities, rebellion, or participation in the Marxist guerrilla is a choice made by many young Colombians. Revolutionary and criminal activities, are two possible responses to frustrated expectations which aim to improve one’s personal situation. Not surprisingly, the country is home to powerful criminal organizations as well as the oldest and strongest rebel movements in Latin America. - In Colombia, anomie is acute. The Medellín cartel exploded some 200 bombs between August and December 1989 alone, killing and injuring hundreds of police, military, and innocent bystanders. Between 1983 and 1993, the cartel also murdered two Ministers of Justice, three presidential candidates, 37 journalists, and 269 judges. Between 1996 and 1997 alone, the number of annual killings increased again by 19 per cent to 32,000. - The violence generated by the drug trade also manifests itself in other crimes. According to Colombian crime statistics the rate of extortion rose from 1.4% of criminal cases in 1981 to 6.2% in 1990. Between 1980 and 1989 there were 1.960 kidnappings. This number more than doubled between 1990 and 1992 to over 4.000. According to Colombian police records 2.600 people, including foreigners, were kidnapped for ransom in 1998, and for the first 8 months of 1999, there had been 1. 300 registered kidnappings. At the time of the millennium roughly half of all the kidnappings in the world occurred in Colombia. - R. T. Naylor comes to a conclusion that differs little from Merton’s. Accordingly, criminals like drug-traffickers “are insurgent capitalists” who try to integrate into a “hitherto largely closed social system.” Meanwhile, the rebels are “insurgent communists” who aim to “overthrow that system” (R.T. Naylor, "The Insurgent Economy: Black Market Operations of Guerrilla Organizations," Crime, Law and Social Change, 20, 1993: 37). The Colombian case illustrates that both crime and rebellion are different reactions to the exclusion from the riches of society. While criminal activity becomes a vehicle for social mobility and integration into elites by the traffickers, revolution by Marxist rebels aims to destroy and replace these elites. - Terms and Names to remember FARC: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia = Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. ELN: Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional = National Liberation Army. M-19: Movimiento de Abril 19 = Movement of April 19. Estado de Conmoción Interior = the ‘State of Internal Commotion’ or martial law Pablo Escobar Gaviria = late leader of the Medellín Cartel; killed in 1993. Gilberto and Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela = former leaders of the Cali Cartel; imprisoned.
Pages to are hidden for
"Strain Theory and Colombia"Please download to view full document