Transforming Colombia's Conflict: A Case for Re-prioritizing U.S.-Colombia's Militaristic Approach

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Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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Breazeale, Natalie Brooke
Digital Commons @ DU
thesis / dissertation description
The United State's influence on Colombia's militaristic approach to the conflict has deprived the nation's children of quality education and socio-economic opportunities, and created a culture of violence that has provided an expansive breeding ground from which armed groups and criminal networks continue to recruit. Colombian citizens have developed and implemented various approaches that have proven effective in transforming Colombia's classrooms and largest cities into collaborative, socially responsible and accomplished communities. Yet these initiatives continue to fall short of their full potential, as the democratic security approach remains the focus of Colombia's policy and programming. In keeping with the theoretical orientation of "conflict transformation" as a strategy for addressing conflict, this study makes the case for prioritizing and adequately supporting transformative approaches, such as the two educational programs and city-wide community interventions presented in this document, that are alleviating the systemic issues fueling the conflict. Given that the youth population will inevitably evolve into future leaders or future insurgents and gang members, these young adults must be the focus of U.S.-Colombian policy, youth programming and funding priorities.