Colombian Criminal Justice in Crisis: Fear and Distrust by Elvira María Restrepo (auth.)

By Elvira María Restrepo (auth.)

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Since the system of justice is part of the political system, this will also enable us to gather some additional data on which to base our later discussion of the extent to which the Colombian political system is able to provide for the effective and impartial administration of justice. 26 Viewed from this perspective, politics requires a certain type of state, essentially one that is to a significant degree autonomous. 1. 1, an instrumental state is one where the objectives are set by interests and groups within society (extra-state goals) and the state merely acts as an agent.

There are questions about whether the Samper administration’s actions and statutes against drug dealers were entirely the result of United States’ pressures – however, in the period of study, it is generally the case that the Colombian state’s actions against drug dealers resulted from a reaction to internal threats (usually assassinations of influential people) or pressures from the United States. In short, it is true that the United States’ tutelage over Colombia’s drug-related issues has induced or contributed to some positive results – such as the dismantling of the Cali Cartel.

At the end of the 1950s, the two main parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, ceased to be the exclusive actors organising and promoting the Colombian people’s interests. Paradoxically, both the representation of social interests and the role of the parties as the main political agents were reduced at the same time as the country was rapidly modernising, at least from an economic and social point of view. 11 In other words, most of the civic engagement of the people was, until the middle of the twentieth century, controlled by, or dependent on, the two political parties.

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