Conclusion Assessment of Success
In the terminology of public policy analysis, the previous chapters have described "policy output," that is, the Barco and Gaviria governments' deliberate actions to affect policy. In this chapter, I begin with the question, How well was the Colombian government able to implement its policies? Or, to use the policy terminology again, How good was its policy outcome?1 I examine trends in crime statistics, including homicides, kidnapping, disappearances, and other human rights abuses. In this way it is possible to compare the amount of violence in Colombia before the attempts to lessen it, to the amount during the Barco and the Gaviria governments. That analysis should reveal whether the policies described had any effect on the level of violence in Colombia. I have limited the analysis to one set of policies--those having to do with crime--which is justified because in a sense this entire book has been about "crime," whether it was instigated by the guerrilla groups, narcoterrorists, or military squads.
I first consider crime in Colombia, emphasizing the most serious crime (homicide) but also considering kidnappings and disappearances, as well as other human rights violations such as tortures, arrests, and threats. I then conclude the book by analyzing the reasons that the records of the two presidents were not better.
I have described at length the conflict-resolution efforts of two presidents. In trying to evaluate whether there was less or more violence as a result of those efforts, various factors complicate the analysis. One is