It is impossible to understand the phenomenon of Ã¢€Ëœpara-politicaÃ¢€â„¢ that has come out to public light in Colombia in recent months, without analyzing it as an evolution of the deepest structures of power in Colombian society.
The roots of paramilitary power grow from the regime of the Ã¢€ËœgamonalesÃ¢€â„¢, characteristic of the diverse regions of the country. This regime ruled since 1854, when the army that liberated Colombia from the Spanish was dissolved as a consequence of the defeat of the revolution of the artisans. At that time, the gamonales won their victory thanks to weapons provided by the US, England, France, and Prussia. From that moment on, they became warlords in a country which suffered successive civil wars in which troops loyal to the conservative and liberal parties dominated what were then federal states, and confronted each other.
The triumph of the gamonales had several consequences. Not only did they consolidate their local power and the property of their haciendas, they also imposed an era of Ã¢€Å“free tradeÃ¢€