Colombia, Dispatches, United States

Paramilitary Politics in Colombia; A Talk With Claudia López

April 20, 2010 By Reinhard Cate

Paramilitary Politics In Colombia: A Talk With Claudia Lopez from Latin America News Dispatch on Vimeo.

NEW YORK — Colombian political analyst Claudia López visited New York University’s Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies on Thursday, where she presented research on the infiltration of paramilitary groups in Colombia’s political system. While left-wing guerrillas have sought to push the state out of areas where they operate, leading to their isolation, right-wing militas have infiltrated the political system to such an extent that López says they are “capturing” the state. López’s research played an important role in prompting the investigations of over one third of Colombia’s Congress members for ties to illegal groups since 2006. She took some time to discuss her work with The Latin America News Dispatch.

The talk was sponsored by the NYU Wagner Graduate School for Public Service’s Alliance for Latino and Latin American Students and the NYU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

About Reinhard Cate

Reinhard Cate is a native of Alameda, California. He is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Political Science and New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism institute with an M.A. in Journalism. He is a photographer and filmmaker and his work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the New York Observer Magazine, Alpinist Magazine, Fox News, Frontline World and BBC World News. He recently finished a documentary film on the clash between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. An avid rock climber and adventurer, Reinhard has traveled much of the world but has focused his work primarily on the Middle East. You can see some of his photo and video work at You can follow him on twitter at @reinhardcate.


rita ros-planas says:

Claudia Lopez offers a powerful combination: ethical, probing journalism coupled with courageous social and political activism. Let the world see this as the true voice of Colombians.

[…] crime in funding campaigns is becoming a big issue throughout Latin America,” Casas-Zamora said, highlighting the case of Colombia. “Latin American democracies are forced to coexist with a huge illicit industry, an illicit […]

[…] The Morris brothers’ reporting has played a significant role in elucidating connections between politics and right-wing paramilitaries. In Colombia, over one third of Congress members have faced investigations for ties to illegal armed groups since …. […]

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