Accession Number:

ADA440502

Title:

Arms Trafficking and Colombia

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

101.0

Abstract:

The people of Colombia have experienced significant political instability and violence over the past century. While many factors have contributed to this situation-the drug trade, a protracted insurgent conflict, nationwide corruption-small-arms proliferation remains among the most serious of the countrys problems. Addressing the issue of small-arms trafficking in Colombia poses enormous challenges, largely because the movement of these weapons is difficult to monitor and measure and does not conform to traditional definitions of a security threat. For this analysis, the term small arms refers to man-portable personal and military weapons, ranging from handguns to assault rifles to surface-to-air missiles SAMs. These weapons are defined as small arms because they possess a number of characteristics that facilitate their rapid movement around the world. They are, by definition, small and light, which allows for easy transportation across national borders and between continents. Small arms are also for the most part impervious to the environment, which allows for their repeated use in a wide range of climates and circumstances. Finally, small arms exist in legal white markets, semi-legal gray markets, and illegal black markets-resulting in a plethora of ways in which states and nonstate actors can access and distribute these arms.1

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE