Borderland battles (2019)
violence, crime, and governance at the edges of Colombia's war
in: Oxford scholarship online
Borderlands are like a magnifying glass on some of the world's most entrenched security challenges. In unstable regions, border areas attract violent non-state groups, ranging from rebels and paramilitaries to criminal organizations, who exploit central government neglect. These groups compete for territorial control, cooperate in illicit cross-border activities, and provide a substitute for the governance functions usually associated with the state. Drawing on extensive fieldwork with more than 600 interviews in and on the shared borderlands of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela - where conflict is rife and crime thriving - this text provides exclusive firsthand insights into these war-torn spaces. It reveals how dynamic interactions among violent non-state groups produce a complex security landscape with ramifications for order and governance both locally and beyond.