Identifying municipal risk factors for leftist guerrilla violence in Colombia


This study examines determinants of leftist violence at the municipal level in Colombia from 2000 through 2010. A multilevel GLMM model with a negative binomial distribution is used to take advantage of the information available at the municipal and department level. Surprisingly, inequality was not a significant covariate of violence, and agricultural GDP tended to reduce, instead of increase, guerrilla violence. The main risk factors identified include physical characteristics such as rugged topography and prior violence, but also factors that are candidates for policy action, such as unemployment, incorporation of the poor into public services, repression, and the energy and mining sector. These findings suggest interventions to decrease risks of guerrilla violence beyond merely strengthening the state. While repression tends to escalate violence, targeted policies to provide health benefits to those currently underserved, and securing mining and oil operations can effectively reduce the risk of violence.

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy 24(2), 1-28
Liliana M. Dávalos
Liliana M. Dávalos
Professor of Conservation Biology

I’m interested in how biology and the environment shape biodiversity in time and space.