State for Hire: Corporate-state security contracts in extractive zones

17 May 2024, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


Activists and NGOs have long accused extractive companies and state security forces of colluding to suppress opposition to extractive projects, often via means of violence, sabotage, or repression around the world. Evidence of this practice, however, is harder to come by. This article investigates these linkages directly, using original data of contracts signed between various branches of the Colombian armed forces and judiciary bodies with extractive companies around issues of security. In its essence, these contracts allow private companies to contract out sectors or branches of the Colombian government to protect private installations or project infrastructure throughout the country. Our data sheds light on these specter-like agreements, and proves that the relationship between state forces and private companies can and are formalized. This allows us to directly observe what types of conditions might make their presence more probable and explore potential effects.


private company


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