Effects of the war on drugs on official corruption in Colombia
Velez, Hernando Wills
Henderson, David R.
Evered, Roger D.
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This thesis analyzes the relationship between the war on drugs and official corruption in Colombia. Two variables are used in the study. The first one is official corruption in Colombia, which is measured using the number of articles on official corruption published by Colombia's newspaper El Tiempo and The Economist magazine. The second variable is action against illegal drugs. This variable is measured by a combination of the Colombian National Police budget and the level of commitment to act against the problem. To understand what war on drugs is, a chapter describing drug policies of both the United States and Colombia is included. On policy issues, each country has its own perspective of the problem. While the United States believes that the main problem is on the supply side, Colombian people and officials think that the problem is more demand oriented. Results show that official corruption in Colombia is linearly correlated with action against illegal drug trafficking. If the level of action against illegal drugs increases, official corruption increases but not in the same proportion. Regression analysis revealed that 28.2 percent of the variation on official corruption is explained by variation in the action against illegal drugs. The analysis also led to the conclusion that the Colombian government is acting against the problem, and that drug-related corruption is not the only kind of official corruption in the country. Recommendations for further research are included. (AN.
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