Fckn awesome article yall, check it out. Id always known bits and pieces about the AUC and Castanos but until Narcos S2 was never real interested in them. Well if you are, take a look! I wouldnt necessarily say the "Zetas" of Colombia(IMO AUC would wipe the floor with los Zetas) but theres certainly comparisons. Talk about a pack of sharks and rattlesnakes, it dont get much more cut throat than these dudes.
Comparing the criminal insurgencies in Colombia and Mexico, and their respective government's responses has been a popular topic for some time.
In my opinion, the rampant corruption, narco culture, violence, and the war on drugs are similar in some respects on both countries. However, the idea that Mexico's criminal gangs are morphing into the civil war and the following Marxist guerrilla insurgency, [fought by the paramilitary militias mentioned in this article] which marred Colombian society for half a century, is not accurate in my opinion.
The effect the FARC [and to a lesser extent the ELN and smaller Marxist groups] has had on Colombia is much different than criminal groups in Mexico, which frequently collude with various government entities and and intertwined with the business elites in many cases.
The FARC and other Marxists enjoyed little support from suburban Colombians, drawing their primary support from indigenous groups and poor, remote villages neglected by the government, and coincidentally often involved in the coca trade. The profits were primarily used to fund their army and attempt to gain control of the entire country, after the rural and jungle forests of the eastern 1/3 of the country had been ceded to their de facto control. In Mexico, criminal profits are used to bribe government officials and fund their organizations, but there is no concerted effort to actually overthrow the government. It is much easier to buy it.
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
One thing that I see tying both of these countries together is how sudden wealth by relatively few people often leads to corruption, immoral hedonism, and extremes of violence within "unprepared" societies. It seems like wealth from "evil" works eventually transfers the evil to the wealth harvesters ... as in the cases of Chapo Guzman, Pablo Escobar, and thousands of their minions.
I had to add the "unprepared" caveat when I thought of Japan and South Korea after WW II and the Korean War. Loosely speaking, these two (beaten to a pulp) nations handled their sudden wealth impressively well.
OPEC nations, wallowing in oil wealth, also support my contention but heavily modified by ancient Islamic and tribal cultural factors. Cultural differences sure makes a difference in how people handle sudden extremes of wealth.