Following more than 40 years of conflict, the Colombian state has been moved down the list of priorities in the United States’ war on drugs. The United States provided the Colombian government with support for anti-narcotic initiatives, with some in part meant to combat the social and political opposition formed by the Colombian leftist-guerilla groups, and the Colombian cartels. The analysis of the war on drugs was broken down into three chapters, which together are meant to tell the narrative of the war on drugs in Colombia and the resulting fall out that has followed major policy shifts in Colombia. From the three differing perspectives, along with their own involvement and action in the war, it is clear that United States policy in Colombia failed to eliminate the production of narcotics. The policies did manage to produce unintended consequences, a militarization of Colombia’s response to issues, and a policy of going after individuals instead of operations. The war on drugs in Colombia was a policy failure, and the United States struggled to adapt to an industry manned by many of the actors locked in the same conflict. The implication of these outcomes is a greater understanding of just how complicated the situation in Colombia was, and how difficult it can be to produce results.


Pozefsky, Peter


History; Global and International Studies


Latin American History | Political History | United States History


War on Drugs, Colombia, United States, Cocaine, Narcotics

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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