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This paper explores the contentious relationship between foreign investment and political violence in Colombia. In particular, it examines the impact of Canadian oil  investment on the armed conflict. In the past two years, there has been a veritable flood of Canadian oil companies to Colombia, many of which are involved in oil  exploration and development in regions of the country where conflict is most intense. Indeed, there appears to be a strong correlation between regions of mineral wealth and  regions of political conflict. Are Canadian oil companies contributing to the escalation of political violence? Is it possible for even well intentioned companies to conduct themselves ethically in the midst of a war?

By: Scott Pearce
Department of Political Science, York University
November 2002

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