The Fall of Dumar Aljure, A Colombian Guerrilla and Bandit

by Richard L. Maullin

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An account of the career of Dumar Aljure, a bandit-guerrilla, political party boss, and chief of a 60,000-hectare domain in Colombia. Aljure was killed in a battle with the Colombian army and police on April 5, 1968. Despite notoriously illegal activity, he had survived previous government campaigns against guerrillas without harm. His immunity was owed partly to his local political and economic power, but depended most on relationships with Liberal Party elite in Bogota. Payoffs for his delivery of local votes and other political services may have included intercession by respectable civil friends to prevent the Army from pursuing Aljure in his own territory. Before Aljure could be destroyed, it was necessary to break or override these links with legitimate politicians. This may have resulted from (1) revenge by a powerful politician from whom Aljure had withdrawn support, or (2) the Army's intolerance of civil restrictions on its operations. So long as legitimate authority finds links with men like Aljure profitable or necessary, such bandit-guerrillas will survive.

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