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Non-Western responses to terrorism$
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Michael J. Boyle

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526105813

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526105813.001.0001

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Colombia: The changing meaning of ‘terrorism’in Colombia: A matter of discourse

Colombia: The changing meaning of ‘terrorism’in Colombia: A matter of discourse

9 Colombia: The changing meaning of ‘terrorism’in Colombia: A matter of discourse
Non-Western responses to terrorism

Oscar Palma

Manchester University Press

The use of the concept of terrorism in Colombia, especially regarding who is a terrorist, has changed through the years according to the discourse, making it difficult to understand the phenomenon as a single one. Understanding terrorism, and the responses that the Colombian state has created to address it, requires identifying how specific agents have been categorized as terrorists according to the context. This chapter argues that instead of being an objective and continuous reality through the history of Colombia’s conflicts, terrorism has appeared as a result of the construction of discourses that have positioned specific agents as terror organizations. This categorization is not a simple matter of semantics; it has brought relevant policy implications related to the forms in which the state has responded to violent actors.

Keywords:   Colombia, terrorism, narcoterrorism, insurgency, FARC, Pablo Escobar, drug-dealing, Plan Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, Política de Seguridad Democrática

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