Black and Indigenous Territorial Movements: Women Striving for Peace in Colombia

Citation:

Gruner, Sheila, and Charo Mina Rojas. 2018. “Black and Indigenous Territorial Movements: Women Striving for Peace in Colombia.” Canadian Woman Studies 33 (1–2): 211-21.

Authors: Sheila Gruner, Charo Mina Rojas

Abstract:

In this article, we will explore Black and Indigenous peoples' efforts at peace building, particularly women, as a reflection of ethnoterritorial organizational struggles in Colombia during the recent peace negotiations and during the subsequent and ongoing "implementation phase" of the "Final Agreement to End the Conflict and Construct a Stable and Lasting Peace" (or Havana Peace Accords). First, we offer some historical context to the conflict from the perspective of Indigenous and particularly Black communities, followed by some general background on the peace agreements, emphasizing the role that women and ethnoterritorial organizations have played and are playing to ensure an "ethnic" and gendered perspective in the construction of peace. We then focus on some of the grassroots mobilization and advocacy/lobbying pivotal to the achievements related to the ethnic chapter. We also reflect briefly on how "gender" was constructed as a threat to conservative elements of Colombian society during the referendum on the peace accords. Following this, we explore contributions of the Ethnic Commission for Peace and Defense of Territorial Rights, which was formed to lobby the Havana negotiators for self-representation in the peace process.

Followed by this, we examine problems that have arisen since the signing of the peace agreements related to women, rural, Indigenous and Black movements, whose social leaders have been targeted by violence and whose communities continue to live within generalized conditions of war. Systematic threats, assassinations and significant levels of violence continue in, and against, ethnic communities, including the recent massacres of rural and Indigenous coca workers, and the selective assasinations of Black leaders in the region of Tumaco, an Afro-descendant coastal area in the Colombian south pacific and site of geopolitical and narco industry interests, and related territorial conflicts. Finally, we will conclude with considerations for advancing towards the realization of peace that includes Indigenous and Black peoples in face of significant challenges.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2018

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