Roadblocks and Revenues 4

In this working paper, Jorge Mantilla explores state-criminal cooperation in roadblock politics. His study discusses the way in which, between 2015 and 2023, the bilateral tensions and border closure between Colombia and Venezuela created a political economy of smuggling in which state officials delegated basic state functions to organised crime groups to contain foes, domesticate illegal economies, and maintain social control. Mantilla shows that the fundamentals of this political economy are negotiated mobility instances taking place at checkpoints deployed in the multiple informal trails along the borderland where smugglers, organised crime groups, and state officials interact. 

This paper is the fourth in a new working paper series on Roadblocks and revenues, a collaboration between ICTD, the Danish Institute for International Studies, and the Centre on Armed GroupsThe first paper introduces the working paper series, the second one focuses on Afghanistan, and the third paper looks at opium trade in Burma.

The working paper series is generously funded by the Carlsberg Foundation under the Semper Ardens: Accelerate grant ‘TRADECRAFT’. Read more about the project here.


Jorge Mantilla