Handbook of Organised Crime and Politics
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Handbook of Organised Crime and Politics

Edited by Felia Allum and Stan Gilmour

This multidisciplinary Handbook examines the interactions that develop between organised crime groups and politics across the globe. This exciting original collection highlights the difficulties involved in researching such relationships and shines a new light on how they evolve to become pervasive and destructive. This new Handbook brings together a unique group of international academics from sociology, criminology, political science, anthropology, European and international studies.
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Chapter 16: Colombia: organised crime, politics, and convenience

Annette Idler


In Colombia, the origins and the reach of the links between crime and politics penetrate society across sectors and different levels of government. This chapter depicts the variety of the politics_crime linkages in Colombia. Instead of conceiving of a single ‘crime_politics nexus’, the author argues for a more nuanced understanding of the arrangements between these two realms that require differentiated responses, tailored to the respective level and actors involved. Four arrangements of convenience stand out: collusion, strategic alliances, pacific coexistence, and the preponderance of one over the other. To account for this complexity, this chapter is based on three premises: understanding ‘politics’ and ‘organised crime’ in the context of the internal armed conflict and the actors involved in it; accounting for the various geographical levels on which crime_politics linkages take shape, including its transnational dimension; and going beyond the focus on drug trafficking to include other forms of transnational organised crime.

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