Transnational Insurgents: Evidence from Colombia's FARC at the Border with Chávez's Venezuela
49 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 1, 2017
Many insurgent groups operate across international borders, but transnational insurgent activities are seldom observable and little is known about their consequences. In this paper, I show that activity by Colombian insurgent group FARC increased disproportionately in Colombian municipalities next to the border with Venezuela after Hugo Chávez became president of the latter. I argue that FARC's reliance on short-range weaponry and non-mechanized transportation limited the area in which the group could expand its operations as a result of access to a cross-border safe haven. In consequence, the finding above constitutes evidence of increased FARC presence in Venezuela during the Chávez administration. Exploiting the plausibly exogenous change of government in Venezuela, I find that Colombian municipalities more exposed to a cross-border guerrilla sanctuary experience large increases in the intensity of violence, as well as reductions in local tax revenue and educational enrolment.
Keywords: Civil Conflict, Foreign Influence, Irregular Warfare, FARC, Hugo Chavez
JEL Classification: D740, F590
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation