Globalization of Colombia
Dennis R. Pierce
Columbia Southern University
Prof. Li Ping Yang
Globalization is the process in which boundaries are extended through the interaction of
companies, individuals, economies and aided by technological advances. While globalization
has reached Colombia it has not, nor will it ever, reach all of Colombia. The process of
globalization has an effect on all facets of the economy. Globalization also affects a country’s
culture, economic development, political system and environment.
To understand how globalization has affected Colombia, you must first have some
knowledge of the country itself. Colombia is split into two very distinct regions by the Andes
mountains. The majority of the population in Colombia live either in the mountains or on the
coastal side of the mountains. There are still people that live on the eastern side of the
mountains, but not to the extent that they live in the other areas. Globalization has not had too
much of an effect on those living on the eastern side of the Andes. While they are sometimes
aware of things going on outside their realm it generally does not have any effect on their lives.
The people working in the drug trade are a prime example of this. Farmers are paid only
$100-200 to process cocaine that is shipped to, and sold in the United States, for millions of
dollars. $100 is a lot of money to these farmers and they are completely unaware how much
what they make is being sold for.
Colombia’s economic development has seen an increase in the last two decades. However, it has come at a great cost. In the late 1990’s major companies moving into Colombia looking for a cheap labor force ran into problems with the unions. However, the Colombian military had an answer for this. Government controlled death squads were dispatched by the government to get rid of anyone that was outspoken against the government’s actions or the companies moving in. “Over half the trade union leaders murdered in the entire world in 1997 were located in Colombia.” (Hermann, Zarate-Laun. 1999). Farmers have been pushed off of
their land as logging, mining and oil companies moved in. This led to one of the increases in pollution.
The pollution came from the burning of the rain forests. The rain forests are being burned at a rate of 1 ½ acres every second. While the companies moving in are creating jobs for the locals they are causing greater problems in the loss of animal habitat and land for indigenous tribes. “Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rain forests could be consumed in less than 40 years.” (The Disappearing Rainforests, 2010). The pollution has also been a problem in the urban areas as well. Coca-Cola opened bottling plants in Colombia when they expanded their operations into South America. This meant that more people would be commuting causing more pollution. This pales in comparison to the pollution produced by the plant itself. In most developing countries pollution is one of their least concerns. As in Colombia, the government and the workers were so happy to be working the pollution created was overlooked.
While this pollution has been one of the negative effects on Colombia and its citizens the jobs it has created has given them a higher standard of living. This is one of the great debates regarding markets in emerging countries. Is working long hours for a menial wage better than not working at all?
Pollution has also increased as more people have moved out of the jungles due to the increasing danger from para-military groups and the drug trade. This migration into the cities has put a strain on public and social services. As more people move into an area the crime rate will go up and those that have migrated from other countries looking for work may be taken...
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