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Colombia's Constitutional Court has justifiably attracted a good deal of attention around the world for its contributions to democracy in a challenging environment. This chapter considers why the Court was able to play such a successful role during the early years of the constitution. The chapter presents three kinds of arguments to answer the question: (i) historical, (ii) normative, and (iii) conceptual, and develops a synthetic account.
Body fat distribution may be a stronger predictor of metabolic risk than BMI. Yet, few studies have investigated secular changes in body fat distribution in middle-income countries or how those changes vary by socioeconomic status (SES). This study evaluated changes in body fat distribution by SES in Colombia, a middle-income country where BMI is increasing rapidly.
We applied factor analysis to previously published data to assess secular changes in adiposity and body fat distribution in cross-sectional samples of urban Colombian women. Anthropometry was used to assess weight, height and skinfolds (biceps, triceps, subscapular, suprailiac, thigh, calf).
Women (18–44 years) in 1988–1989 (n 1533) and 2007–2009 (n 577) from three SES groups.
We identified an overall adiposity factor, which increased between 1988–1989 and 2007–2008 in all SES groups, particularly in the middle SES group. We also identified arm, leg and trunk adiposity factors. In all SES groups, leg adiposity decreased, while trunk and arm adiposity increased.
Factor analysis highlighted three trends that were not readily visible in BMI data and variable-by-variable analysis of skinfolds: (i) overall adiposity increased between time periods in all SES groups; (ii) the adiposity increase was driven by a shift from lower body to upper body; (iii) the adiposity increase was greatest in the middle SES group. Factor analysis provided novel insights into secular changes and socioeconomic variation in body fat distribution during a period of rapid economic development in a middle-income country.
The present study aimed to (a) establish the frequency of consumption of red meat and eggs; (b) determine serum ferritin levels (μg/l); and (c) establish the relationship between serum ferritin and the consumption of red meat and eggs. In Colombia during 2014–2018, an analytical study was conducted in 13 243 Colombian children between the ages of 5 and 17 years, based on cross-sectional data compiled by ENSIN-2015 (Encuesta Nacional de la Situación Nutricional en Colombia-2015) on serum ferritin levels and dietary consumption based on a questionnaire of the frequency of consumption. Using simple and multiple linear regression, with the serum ferritin level as the dependent variable and the frequency of consumption as the main explanatory variable, the crude and adjusted partial regression coefficients (β) between serum ferritin levels and consumption were calculated. The frequency of habitual consumption of red meat was 0⋅49 (95 % CI 0⋅47, 0⋅51) times/d. The frequency of habitual egg consumption was 0⋅76 (95 % CI 0⋅74, 0⋅78) times per d. The mean serum ferritin level in men was 41⋅9 (95 % CI 40⋅6, 43⋅1) μg/l and in women, 35⋅7 (95 % CI 34⋅3, 37⋅7) μg/l (P < 0⋅0001). The adjusted β between the consumption of red meat and eggs and serum ferritin levels were β = 3⋅0 (95 % CI 1⋅2, 4⋅7) and β = 2⋅5 (95 % CI 1⋅0, 3⋅9) for red meat and eggs, respectively. In conclusion, red meat and eggs are determinants of serum ferritin levels in Colombia and, therefore, could be considered public policy options to reduce anaemia and Fe deficiency.
Despite the recent surge of scholarship on the role that civic organizations play in armed conflicts and postconflict settings, there is little consensus on how they interact with armed nonstate actors. This article examines how disparate armed nonstate actors can co-opt and manage preexisting civic organizations, and even create new ones, to embed themselves in civilian communities and perform governance functions while simultaneously advancing their ideological agendas. Employing a comparative historical analysis between two armed nonstate units in Colombia, one from a Marxist insurgent group and the other from a counterinsurgent paramilitary organization, the study demonstrates that regardless of their different ideological motivations, regional settings, and repertoires of violence, these actors could navigate formal processes related to legal economies, electoral contests, and bureaucratic-administrative institutions, and informal processes tied to illicit rackets and territorial and population control, more efficiently through their skilled management of local civic organizations.
To examine the association of all forms of malnutrition and socioeconomic status (SES), educational level and ethnicity in children <5 years, non-pregnant adolescent women (11–19 years) and non-pregnant adult women (20–49 years) in Colombia.
Cross-sectional analysis of data from the 2010 Colombian National Nutrition Survey. The prevalence of malnutrition was compared across categories of SES, educational level and ethnicity.
The sample for the current analysis comprised children <5 years, non-pregnant adolescent women (11–19 years) and non-pregnant adult women (20–49 years).
In children <5 years, a low SES and maternal educational level were significantly associated with a lower prevalence of overweight/obesity compared with high levels of SES and maternal education, that is, the prevalence of overweight/obesity was 1·4 and 1·6 times lower in categories of low SES and educational levels, respectively. In contrast, the prevalence of wasting, stunting and anaemia was higher in the lowest SES and maternal educational categories (the prevalence was between 1·1 and 1·8 times higher for these indicators). In women, the lowest SES (11 and 19 years) and educational levels (20 and 49 years) exhibited a higher prevalence in all forms of malnutrition compared with their counterparts in the highest categories (i.e. overweight/obesity, stunting and anaemia). Additionally, indigenous or Afro-Colombian children and women had the highest prevalence of malnutrition in comparison with other ethnicities.
These results suggest that public policies should address all forms of malnutrition that occur in the most vulnerable populations in Colombia using multiple strategies.
An exploration of organized violence through the frameworks offered by a case study on Pablo Escobar and the drug trade in Colombia. By understanding Escobar’s life, motivations, and the operation of the drug cartel as organized violence, we see how understanding human behavior and the logic of violence through an economic lens offers more insight to a solution than a rote labeling Escobar as a criminal.
Introduced species can have strong ecological, social and economic effects on their non-native environment. Introductions of megafaunal species are rare and may contribute to rewilding efforts, but they may also have pronounced socio-ecological effects because of their scale of influence. A recent introduction of the hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius into Colombia is a novel introduction of a megaherbivore onto a new continent, and raises questions about the future dynamics of the socio-ecological system into which it has been introduced. Here we synthesize current knowledge about the Colombian hippopotamus population, review the literature on the species to predict potential ecological and socio-economic effects of this introduction, and make recommendations for future study. Hippopotamuses can have high population growth rates (7–11%) and, on the current trajectory, we predict there could be 400–800 individuals in Colombia by 2050. The hippopotamus is an ecosystem engineer that can have profound effects on terrestrial and aquatic environments and could therefore affect the native biodiversity of the Magdalena River basin. Hippopotamuses are also aggressive and may pose a threat to the many inhabitants of the region who rely upon the Magdalena River for their livelihoods, although the species could provide economic benefits through tourism. Further research is needed to quantify the current and future size and distribution of this hippopotamus population and to predict the likely ecological, social and economic effects. This knowledge must be balanced with consideration of social and cultural concerns to develop appropriate management strategies for this novel introduction.
This article is about a relatively new version of the ‘emerging’ jus post bellum concept. It asks whether the jus post bellum as ‘integrity’ is useful as a normative guide in the interpretation of international criminal law during transitions when the requirements of international criminal law are ambiguous or unclear. It develops the main elements of the jus post bellum as integrity as an analytical framework. It then evaluates the theoretical and practical application of the concept in relation to the task of the International Criminal Court in evaluating the ‘alternative sentences’ regime in Colombia. It argues that a Dworkinian approach to international criminal law must make certain assumptions about the international legal order which are difficult to sustain. The difficulties discussed here are related to the structural conditions needed for a ‘community of principle’ to arise in Dworkin’s theory. The article demonstrates that the jus post bellum as integrity may be useful for identifying the principles of international criminal law that should apply to states in transition from conflict to peace. However, despite its usefulness, the concept is susceptible to the usual arguments against adopting ‘natural law’ constructions in international legal method (and post-conflict law).
Human rights and conflict resolution have been traditionally perceived as two separate fields, with contradictory principles and conflicting approaches toward achieving peace. This essay aims to understand these two fields in a more integrative way, showing how a human rights perspective can enrich the theory and practice of conflict resolution. It clarifies the main characteristics of a human rights approach to conflict resolution and identifies a set of human rights standards guiding its implementation: a normative legal framework; structural conditions for peace; participation and inclusion; and accountability and redress. The essay also briefly applies a human rights approach to the Colombian peace process and to the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The conclusion addresses one of the main criticisms of this approach and its principal challenges.
In Chapter 6 I examine indigenous water rights in Colombia, specifically, the declaration by Colombia’s highest court that the Atrato River is a ‘legal subject’ in response to indigenous concerns about water management. This watershed case of November 2016 was an action for protection of constitutional rights brought in the Colombian Constitutional Court on behalf of a number of indigenous and afrodescendent communities, in response to serious environmental and humanitarian damage caused by illegal mining in the region of Chocó. I show in this chapter how the legal person model for the Atrato is adopted in recognition of the ‘biocultural rights’ of indigenous communities, but the approach is clearly not a complete answer to indigenous water injustice. Indigenous peoples also need substantive water allocations, in order to have a voice in decision making about river management and use. Yet, because the river is a subject it has representatives from the community, or guardians, and they have a voice on behalf of the river, where previously they had none. The Colombian case is highly significant, in that it underscores the strength of legal person models in creating new jurisdictions for indigenous peoples in which to participate in river sharing, governance and use.
In Chapter 4 I consider the limited recognition of traditional, cultural water rights in Australian law. In the Australian model, property rights in water and water markets accompany government oversight and planning. Australian water law has undergone drastic reforms since the early 1990s, yet little has been done to provide indigenous peoples with the right to use water on their lands for commercial and productive purposes. Native title rights to water have been interpreted narrowly by the courts according to traditional and cultural uses, and are usually accounted for as in-stream cultural and conservation values in water catchments, distinguishing them from the consumptive rights held by other users. Yet indigenous Australians continue to make up the most disadvantaged sector of Australian society and Australian governments have committed to reducing that disadvantage, including by supporting the productive use of indigenous lands. The Australian experience demonstrates the difficulties inherent in recognising historical indigenous rights to land and resources, as indigenous water practices change over time and conflict with other uses. The study highlights the need for an allocative model, enabling both the reservation of water for indigenous allocation and the redistribution of water rights in fully allocated catchments.
This chapter uses the case study of Colombia to argue that there is an emerging right to justice born out of the aspirations of international criminal law. This right comprises several elements, each finding its own unique realisation in the context of Colombia’s transition to peace. More specifically, the chapter discusses the right to see perpetrators of mass atrocities held accountable, the right to peace and reconciliation, the right not to face repetition of collective violence, victims’ right to justice, the right to truth, and, finally, the right to local administration of justice. The International Criminal Court (ICC) plays a role in enforcing these various elements of the overarching right to justice but with clear limitations dictated by the nature of international criminal law as a discipline relying on State cooperation and its own moral appeal. Such process is best understood if one sees the ICC as the enforcer at the domestic level of the generic right to justice.
This article analyzes the constitution of dockworkers’ power and its impact on trade union strategy in recent labor disputes in Chile and Colombia. Dockworkers’ strategic location in the economies of both countries would predict a high degree of shop-floor power among both groups. In practice, however, Colombian dock-workers had far less shop-floor power than their Chilean counterparts, as a result of mitigating social and political factors. Consequently, they developed a strategy this study terms human rights unionism, relying on external allies and lawsuits for leverage, rather than shop-floor action. Dockworkers in Chile, by contrast, adopted a strategy termed class struggle unionism, relying on nationally and internationally coordinated shop-floor action. This article therefore proposes an expanded model of workers’ structural power, incorporating the roles of state and society to better account for power differentials and divergent strategic pathways among workers who share a common position in the economic system.
Nineteenth-century republicans across the political spectrum agreed: the Spanish monarchy produced ‘miserable Indians’. Abolishing tribute and privatising communal lands, known as resguardos in New Granada (roughly today's Panama and Colombia), would transform that wretched class into equal citizens. Drawing on late eighteenth-century privatisation efforts by the Spanish Crown, early republican leaders in Gran Colombia inaugurated an era seeking equal access to wealth from communal land for all indigenous community members. After Gran Colombia (the first Colombian Republic, 1819–30) dissolved into New Granada, Ecuador and Venezuela in 1830, New Granada's experiments with indigenous resguardo policies went further. By then, legislative efforts considered the needs of all resguardo members, including unmarried mothers and their illegitimate children. Complex laws, diverse ecological terrain and nuanced social realities required well-trained surveyors to ensure each eligible indigenous family received a fair share of land. Whereas indigenous communities in Pasto, Santa Marta and the Cauca river valley resorted to armed insurrection against liberal policies through the War of the Supremes (1839–42), those in the highlands near Bogotá did not. Instead, these republican indígenas – with their greater access to the levers of power housed in the national capital – chose to engage in the reforms of a decentralising state. This article reveals how contentious experiments seeking republican equality within indigenous resguardos as a path towards abolishing the institution were consistently stymied by efforts to ensure that indigenous community governance and communal landholding remained intact.
This article explores how late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century ideas of the Spanish American consumer took shape. It argues that Atlantic debates on consumption, on the one hand, and on racial difference, on the other, provided a common ground on which foreign visitors, diplomats and commentators, as well as Colombian elite intellectuals, could jointly create a positive idea of the Spanish American consumer. The article demonstrates that, in the eyes of those who had either political or economic interest in the region, it was possible for Spanish American Indians, Blacks and ‘mixed races’ to gradually overcome their ‘backwardness’ by adopting new practices of consumption. The consumption of new necessities by the Spanish American popular sectors became, for many of these commentators, an irrefutably civilising force.
This article challenges the conventional wisdom that enthusiastic state support is a prerequisite to building strong participatory institutions. Through an analysis of Colombia’s planning councils, this study develops the concept of the societydriven participatory institution, in which civil society actors, rather than the state, undertake the core tasks involved in implementing participatory institutions. The article argues that while state neglect limits their involvement in decisionmaking, society-driven participatory institutions can still develop important policymaking roles in agenda setting and in monitoring and evaluating public policy.
Costa Rica and Colombia, two of the earliest Latin American countries to protect many LGBT rights, attempted to amplify those rights and litigate same-sex marriage (SSM) in mid-2000s; however, these attempts sparked a major anti-LGBT backlash by religious and conservative organizations. Yet a decade later, Colombia legalized SSM while Costa Rica still lacks the right to SSM. Using a most-similar systems comparative case study, this study engages the judicial politics literature to explain this divergent outcome. It details how courts, while staying receptive to many individual LGBT rights claims, deferred SSM legalization to popularly elected branches. In spite of the lack of legislative success in both countries, in Colombia a new litigation strategy harnessed that deference to craft a litigated route to legalized SSM. In Costa Rica, the courts’ lack of conditions or deadlines has left SSM foundering in the congress.
Regional economic differences in Colombia have persisted over time. The present study seeks to contribute to the debate on the territorial differences of the country through the identification of patterns of low coverage in both primary and secondary education between 1904 and 1958. The results, coinciding with other studies on income, show a tendency towards the formation of an educational cluster in the centre of the country and the existence of a human capital trap in the periphery. The results also suggest that there is a high correlation between fiscal capacity and enrolment rates. Finally, it can also be observed that territories with the highest enrolment rates are associated with high urban enrolment rates during the process of country-wide urbanisation.
Natural resource-related conflicts between local communities and nation states can be extremely destructive. Worldwide, interest is growing in gaining a better understanding of why and how these conflicts originate, particularly in protected areas inhabited by local communities. The literature on local attitudes towards and perceptions of park conservation and park–people conflicts is quite extensive. Studies have examined the socioeconomic and geographical determinants of attitudes to protected areas. However, the role of such determinants in the experience of park–people conflicts has received considerably less attention. Drawing on 601 interviews with people living in or near 15 Colombian national protected areas (NPAs), we examine the socioeconomic and geographical variables that are most influential in people’s experience of conflict related to restricted access to natural resources. We find that the experience of this type of conflict is largely explained by the NPA where a person resides, pursuit of productive activities within the NPA, previous employment in NPA administration, gender and ethnicity. We recommend implementing socially inclusive conservation strategies for conflict prevention and resolution in Colombia’s NPAs, whereby both women and men from different ethnic groups are engaged in design and implementation.
Successful conservation actions require strategies that combine research, policy formulation and enforcement, practical interventions and education. Here we review the Armadillo Conservation Programme, which was initiated in 2012 as a pioneering multidisciplinary programme for the conservation and management of five armadillo species in the Orinoco Llanos of Colombia. It is led by a multi-institutional alliance that ensures active participation of stakeholders during all stages of the programme. Six main threats affecting armadillo populations in the Llanos were identified, and these were addressed in the first joint action plan of two Colombian environmental authorities. Scientific research facilitated an increase in the knowledge available about the armadillos of the Llanos, and the recategorization of the northern long-nosed armadillo Dasypus sabanicola on the IUCN Red List. Threat evaluation and mitigation included the assessment of illegal bushmeat trade and consumption in local restaurants and the establishment of a certification label for restaurants that do not sell wild meat. Multiple strategies were used to raise awareness about armadillos and position them as flagship species for the Llanos, including education programmes in schools, travelling exhibitions, talks at universities, and the publication of several books. The local communities were actively involved through a network of private reserves committed to the conservation of armadillos, in which armadillos are protected from poaching and monitored by farmers. Breeding and rehabilitation facilities were established that can host confiscated armadillos and raise awareness among the local communities. This case study shows that conservation programmes targeted at inconspicuous and poorly known species can be successful.