Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Kathleen Cunningham

Second Advisor

Maximilian Viatori


This study is about social movements (SM) of victims in Colombia and how both legal and political opportunities opened by the Law of Justice and Peace in 2005 led to their visibility as social actors in the political arena. This research investigates the relationship of these organizations with political parties and the state in light of the internal conflict as a relevant variable. To illustrate my argument I build a narrative of the Colombian history analyzing the social, political, and economic circumstances that provoke the escalating violence, and in consequence the victims' existence. Then, I evaluate and classified the scholarship about SM, political parties, and the state, in three types: SM that aspire to become a political party, SM that try to re-write the state - society relationship from below, and SM that negotiate and cooperate with political parties but maintain their autonomy and independence. I used data from the National Prosecutor office and the Reparation and Reconciliation Commission, to prove the connections of the victims' organizations growth the peace and justice process carried out by the presidency of ylvaro Uribe with the paramilitaries. Data prove a significant increase of victims as both individuals and organizations since 2005. Findings demonstrate how political parties have systematically failed to address victims' claims, and the state stands as sole support of the victims' reparation. As a consequence, victims' organizations play a relevant role addressing this population needs negotiating directly with the state and the parties. Therefore, both political parties and the government have to undertake deliberate and straightforward policies and programs in favor of any form of social movements of victims.


Copyright Owner

Hector A. Bombiella Medina



Date Available


File Format


File Size

90 pages