Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students
Primary Theme: Violence
Secondary Theme: Truth and reconciliation
After more than 50 years of armed conflict, the Colombian government has officially negotiated the demobilization of the country’s largest guerrilla and paramilitary groups. The state’s ongoing peace and reconciliation program supposedly prioritizes the needs of victims of the conflict and the socio-economic incorporation of demobilized armed groups. Today, many Colombians hope that the latest of these negotiations, the 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army (FARC-EP), will lead to economic and social stability throughout the country. This panel explores the historical and contemporary socio-economic and political forces that have shaped the unfolding of the Colombian conflict. The panelists each contribute ethnographic accounts of groups whose lives continue to be shaped by it. We examine the everyday concerns of differently positioned subjects in this “post-conflict” time—including those of recognized and unrecognized conflict victims, and demobilized paramilitaries and guerrilla members —as they rebuild their lives in new places and during a seemingly changing political moment. Panelists also explore the efforts of grassroots, state, military and non-governmental organizations to create and implement peace and reconciliation initiatives. We examine how these individuals and groups are surviving, reconciling, and rebuilding, and ask how their perspectives and struggles to overcome adversity can contribute a nuanced understanding of building long term peace and political stability in the country and Latin America as a region.