By Baecker Dirk
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Government, a government perceived to be the ultimate guarantor of a social order that is being challenged by popular democratic mobilization and violent revolutionary activity, demands that Colombia take vigorous, albeit risky, action against drug trafficking. In these ways, and in many others detailed in the essays in this volume devoted to the contemporary crisis (Part III), the narcotics trade contributes to the violence of contemporary Colombian society. Yet however potent its influence, however varied and paradoxical its effects, the drug trade, by itself, cannot explain the full dimensions of this violence.
It is true that the guerrillas' drug money and connections have facilitated their acquisition of increasingly sophisticated weaponry and have allowed some groups to offer monetary incentives to young recruits from among the urban poor and unemployed. But guerrilla organization of social life in isolated regions of coca productionoften areas of recent smallholder settlement far from the effective reach of government agencies and serviceshas also created viable new communities. In these communities, in contrast to many other parts of rural Colombia affected by the violence, justice actually functions and adequate protection from other sources of violence exists.
In parts of coffee zone, agrarian struggle begins that will continue into 1930s. 1928 Government massacre of striking banana workers in United Fruit enclave near Santa Marta leaves estimated one thousand dead and helps discredit Conservative regime. 1930 Communist party founded. Radical organizing drive begins in cities and countryside. 193046 Liberal Republic. Conservative split in election of 1930 brings the Liberal party to power, initiating period of Page xi social reform, economic development (especially in industry), and growing tension between the parties.