Insurgency, Amnesty, and Dictatorship: General Rojas Pinilla's Attempts to End Columbia's Violencia, 1953-1957
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH
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General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla assumed the presidency of Colombia in a bloodless, 1953 coup. He inherited a bitterly-divided nation in the midst of an outbreak of spontaneous rural fighting known as La Violencia. This thesis concerns the efforts of the Rojas government to bring an end to La Violencia through both peaceful and military means. The major themes of the paper are the causes of social violence, government counterinsurgency policy, Colombian politics of the 194Os and l95Os, and U.S. military aid during the Cold War. This thesis pays particular attention to the role of the Colombian armed forces and national police. Rojas unique position as an initially popular dictator and his varied attempts to retain power frequently involved military uses and abuses. The role of the United States in Rojas government will also receive considerable attention since U.S. arms and diplomats vied for influence in Colombias government. Finally the paper attempts to draw conclusions about the unfolding of Colombian political history and more general lessons on social violence and political insurgency.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law