A common set of concepts provides the framework for much of the discussion of Latin American economic reality. These are expressed in the various practices, plans, programs and strategies which have addressed questions of economic and social development. This paper relates the evolution of this set of concepts to global political and economic development over recent decades. It considers the discourse about development as an element of power and knowledge which serves an important function in the systematic creation of the Third World. The analysis centers on Colombia and supersedes other contributions based on this methodology such as Orlando Fals Borda's Historia doble de la Costa.