Has Plan Colombia Ignored Neighboring Countries?   [open pdf - 732KB]

"The United States government has two main concerns in South America's Andean region. The first is drug production and trafficking. This study focuses on the drug supply from the Andean region. The second concern is the insurgency conducted by Colombian narco-guerilla groups. The Colombian government is dedicated to defeating those illegal groups as the main cause of regional violence. Their primarily military strategy, implemented by local government, is Plan Colombia, which in the last seven years has received about five billion dollars in U.S. funding. Plan Colombia has geopolitical impacts on diplomacy, economics, national security, and the population's well-being. Plan Colombia has resulted in second-order effects on the neighboring countries of Ecuador and Venezuela, increasing border violence, population displacement and the creation of refugees, environmental damage, black market weapons trading and drug trafficking. This thesis uses trust and influence theory to analyze how Plan Colombia affects Ecuador and Venezuela and the actions taken by these neighboring countries to reduce, overcome, or exacerbate negative second order effects. Additionally, the thesis offers suggestions on efforts Washington and Bogotá might make to improve and update Plan Colombia, with recommendations to improve U.S. regional strategies."

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