Based on the announcement of the FARC-EP or Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces – People’s Army, that will give up kidnapping and start a general agreement with the Colombian government for the termination of the Conflict in 2012, this paper examines how long-duration kidnapping might have affected some operatives’ preferences in the organization, reflected in a high desertion rate of operatives in a period of Colombian history characterized by many high-profile kidnappings. I applied two approaches —one from Phillips and Pohl and the other from Shapiro—to discuss an alternative explanation for a change in the behavior of some FARC-EP operatives. The main result of this paper is to show that different approaches from economic theory may explain why some operatives change their preferences in spite of such preferences were considered unchangeable. Two factors affect scenarios in which operatives make decisions: i) the leadership’s decisions in which operatives don’t take part due to the organization’s top-down decision-making structure, which reduces any space for operatives’ participation, and ii) the external conditions that indirectly depend on the behavior of the organization as a whole.


  • María Castillo

Palabras clave:

  • kidnapping
  • rational choice
  • risk preferences


  • Proyecto 6
  • Publicación