This article examines business political behavior in Colombia during the scandal-ridden presidency of Ernesto Samper (1994-98), highlighting the mechanisms by which grupos (diversified economic groups) undermined the ability of organized business to present collective political positions. Evidence that the presidential campaign had been funded by drug traffickers prompted business associations to demand Samper's resignation. But grupos, the firms of which are affiliated with associations, supported the president. This division weakened the position of organized business regarding the resignation, as well as its own political legitimacy. This study argues that grupos face strong incentives to act outside business associations to advance their particular interests. Scholars assessing the strength of organized business in Latin America will increasingly encounter the impact of grupos on business institutional responses to policy.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 31-54
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2007
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