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The Effects of a Less Repressive Counternarcotics Policy on Post-conflict Violence
  • Giovanny Alvarez
Giovanny Alvarez
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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This paper examines the connection between post-conflict violence and crime incentives. The argument is that violence should increase after the peace signature due to the regulatory role of illegal actors in a war economy.  Colombia made history by signing a peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas, which was hailed as one of the most inclusive and progressive ever but also marked a significant shift towards a less repressive counternarcotics policy.  Contrary to expectations, the peace agreements led to a rise in homicide rates in areas previously controlled by FARC. By integrating multiple datasets and using comparative interrupted time series, this paper reveals a significant change in homicide rates in municipalities with previous FARC presence after the peace accords. The rise in post-conflict violence in these municipalities is ascribed to the combination of FARC withdrawal and unanticipated crime incentives, which does not necessarily imply the failure of the counternarcotics policy.