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War and the cities: a view from Barrancabermeja, Medellin, Bogota and Cali 1998-2005

The general objective of this discussion paper is to characterize the armed political conflict in cities such as Barrancabermeja, Medellín, Bogotá and Cali, focusing on dynamics analyzed from 1998 to August 2005. For this purpose, we start with a general approach to the armed political conflict in Colombia; then, we focus specifically on the cities under analysis, trying to elucidate the differential strategic importance that each one of them has for the actors in the conflict.