Graduate Student Maria Isabel Palacio-Cano Research Project Update

Contributed by Maria Isabel Palacio-Cano

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Maria Isabel Palacio-Cano

My research project examines the training of the Colombian Armed Forces during the period between 2002-2008. The overall objective is to conduct a critical analysis of the professionalization of the Colombian armed forces. This analysis will assess the extent to which increased capacity and an offensive posture created the conditions that allowed for an increase in extrajudicial executions. The analysis employs a critical approach to examine the interactions between increased training, new forces, doctrine, and human rights education with dehumanizing narratives and U.S. interventionism. Critical analysis of the discourse employed in this study reveals the power dynamics that facilitate systematic rights violations within the military, despite claims of professionalization. The research questions the normalization of violence against perceived “enemies within” through imposed security frameworks.