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Paramilitaries

Masculinities in Transition? Exclusion, Ethnosocial Power, and Contradictions in Excombatant Community-Based Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland

Citation:

Holland, Curtis, and Gordana Rabrenovic. 2018. "Masculinities in Transition? Exclusion, Ethnosocial Power, and Contradictions in Excombatant Community-Based Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland." Men and Masculinities 21 (5): 729-55.

Authors: Curtis Holland, Gordana Rabrenovic

Abstract:

This study critically examines how masculinities and intersecting ethnonational and social class identities underscore the social and political agencies of excombatants in Northern Ireland and in the specific context of community-based peacebuilding. The authors draw on interviews with female and male leaders in grassroots and governmental organizations, which illustrate how state-led practices of exclusion reshape such intersectional identities and increase the instrumentality of hypermasculinist, pseudo-paramilitary practices in maintaining excombatants’ status and control on neighborhood levels. The research documents how structural dynamics of excombatants’ social class locations and political disaffection help shape their social agencies of “resistance,” underscored by desires for autonomy and recognition, and channeled by ethnogendered scripts rooted in both violent cultures of paramilitarism and nonviolent peacebuilding masculinities. The implications on women of male excombatants’ takeover of leadership roles in the community sector are also discussed.

Keywords: masculinities, peacebuilding, paramilitaries, class, Northern Ireland, exclusion, transitional justice

Topics: Armed Conflict, Class, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Justice, Transitional Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Paramilitaries, Peacebuilding Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2018

From Guns to God: Mobilizing Evangelical Christianity in Urabá, Colombia

Citation:

Theidon, Kimberly. 2015. “From Guns to God: Mobilizing Evangelical Christianity in Urabá, Colombia.” In Religious Responses to Violence: Human Rights in Latin America Past and Present, edited by Alexander Wilde, 443–76. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Author: Kimberly Theidon

Annotation:

Summary:
“This chapter draws on field research with former combatants from the paramilitaries Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). Since January 2005 I have been conducting anthropological research on the individual and collective demobilization programs. To date my Colombian colleague Paola Andrea Betancourt and I have interviewed 236 male and 53 female former combatants. In addition, we have interviewed representatives of state entities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the military, the Catholic and Evangelical churches, and various sectors of the 'host communities' to which former combatants are sent or to which they return. I sought to understand the local dynamics between victims and victimizers and the experiences of those individuals and communities the UNDPKO rightly describes as lying somewhere in between" (Theidon 2015, p. 445). 
 
“I begin with an overview of Colombia’s current DDR program and its impact on Urabá, located in the region with the highest concentration of demobilized combatants. I then explore how evangelical pastors manage memory and the past, issues of great relevance in the lives of former combatants and those around them. This leads to a discussion of repertoires of justice and the elaboration of local theologies of redemption and reconciliation. I conclude by analyzing the role these churches play in providing a space for the development of alternative masculinities and the much-desired personal transformations that may allow these former combatants to forge una nueva vida” (p. 446).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Religion Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2015

Demobilisation of Female Ex-Combatants in Colombia

Citation:

Schwitalla, Gunhild, and Luisa Maria Dietrich. 2007. “Demobilisation of Female Ex-Combatants in Colombia.” Forced Migration Review 27: 58–9.

Authors: Gunhild Schwitalla, Luisa Maria Dietrich

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Among the millions of Colombian IDPs one group is particularly invisible – women and girls associated with illegal armed groups. The current demobilisation process does not adequately address the consequences of the sexual violence they have suffered before, during and after conflict" (Schwitalla and Dietrich 2007, 58).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, DDR, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Conflict, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Non-state Armed Groups, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2007

Desafíos para la reintegración: Enfoques de género, edad y etnia

Citation:

Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica. 2014. “Desafíos para la reintegración: Enfoques de género, edad y etnia". Bogotá, Colombia: Imprenta Nacional.

Author: Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica

Annotation:

Spanish Summary:

La Dirección de Acuerdos de la Verdad del Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica (CNMH) preparó esta publicación a partir de rescatar trabajos y elaboraciones realizados inicialmente por parte de las áreas de Desmovilización, Desarme y Reintegración y de Género y Poblaciones Específicas de la Comisión Nacional de Reparación y Reconciliación (CNRR) referidos a los enfoques diferenciales necesarios de abordar con relación al género y las mujeres, las etnias con referencia a los pueblos indígenas y las comunidades afrodescendientes y la edad en lo relativo a las niñas, niños y adolescentes. 

En conformidad con el mandato legal y la misión institucional de dicha Comisión, tales esfuerzos se orientaron a garantizar los derechos de las víctimas de graves violaciones a los derechos humanos ocurridas en los contextos de violencia y conflicto armado registrados en Colombia durante las últimas décadas, a desarrollar iniciativas de reparación en beneficio de las víctimas y la sociedad y a conseguir garantías de no repetición de tales violaciones (Summary from original source​).

English Summary:

Challenges for Reintegration: Focus on Gender, Age, and Ethnicity 

The Direction of Truth Agreements of the National Center for Historical Memory (CNMH) prepared this publication from recovered works initially produced in the areas of DDR and Gender and Specific Populations of the National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation (CNRR) referring to the differential focus necessary to address gender and women, ethnicities with reference to indigenous people and afro-descendant communities, and age with reference to girls, boys, and adolescents. 

In accordance with the legal mandate and institutional mission of said Commission, such efforts were oriented towards guaranteeing the rights of victims of serious human rights violations that occurred in contexts of violence and armed conflicts in Colombia over the last decades, to develop reparation initiatives benefitting the victims and wider society, and obtaining guarantees of non-repetition of such violations (Translation from original source​).

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Gender, Women, Justice, Reparations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2014

Mobilities at Gunpoint: The Geographies of (Im)mobility of Transgender Sex Workers in Colombia

Citation:

Ritterbusch, Amy E. 2016. “Mobilities at Gunpoint: The Geographies of (Im)Mobility of Transgender Sex Workers in Colombia.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106 (2): 1–12.

Author: Amy E. Ritterbusch

Abstract:

Drawing from geo-ethnographic data collected during a participatory action research (PAR) project funded by the National Science Foundation and subsequent research conducted in Colombia with marginalized youth populations, this article explores the sociospatial exclusion and (im)mobility of the oppressed, subjugated, and persecuted through the social cartographies, geo-narratives, and auto-photographic images of transgender sex workers that were displaced by paramilitary-led gender-based violence and forced to leave their birth cities and rural communities in Colombia at an early age. As is the case for thousands of victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, displaced transgender populations seek refuge and opportunity in the streets of Bogotá, Colombia. The (im)mobilities of transgender sex workers are explored in two stages—the forced, violent mobilities of their displacement, followed by their experiences of discrimination, sociospatial exclusion, and persecution through hate crimes and social cleansing killings on arrival in Bogotá. This article discusses how research actors constructed their own spaces of cohesion and resistance to the multifaceted discrimination and marginalization from mainstream urban society through PAR. The PAR project presented in this article continues as part of the broader struggle of transgender sex workers to challenge the exclusionary discourses and praxis that limit their mobilities and autonomy in the city. This article concludes with examples of how research actors use the action-driven elements of PAR to negotiate, analyze, and resist the relationships of power and violence embedded within their urban environment and begin to re-present and change the reality of their immobility within the city.

Keywords: Colombia, gender-based violence, gendered (im)mobilities, internally displaced persons, Participatory Action Research

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, LGBTQ, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Women, Violence, and Social Change in Northern Ireland and Chiapas: Societies Between Tradition and Transition

Citation:

Hoewer, Melanie. 2013. “Women, Violence, and Social Change in Northern Ireland and Chiapas: Societies Between Tradition and Transition.” International Journal of Conflict and Violence 7 (2): 216–31.

Author: Melanie Hoewer

Abstract:

Violence against women occurs in peacetime, intensifies during wartime, and continues in the aftermath of armed conflict. Women sometimes make gains during conflict and their efforts to break the pattern of violence have led to a greater awareness of gender-based violence. However, a lack of acknowledgement of transformations in gender identity at the macro-level during peace processes may create conflict in intimate partnerships. This study brings to light the complexity of changes occurring during peace processes in a multi-level analysis of women’s perceptions and positioning towards the state, their community, and their intimate partnership. This comparative analysis of fifty-seven female activists’ narratives from Chiapas and Northern Ireland demonstrates how a one-dimensional peace process (Northern Ireland) can limit the space for addressing women’s concerns, while peace processes that transcend the ethno- national dimension of conflict (Chiapas) can open a dialogue on issues of contention in male-female relationships.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Domestic Violence, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Paramilitaries, Non-state Armed Groups, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Violence Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Mexico, United Kingdom

Year: 2013

Precursors to Femicide: Guatemalan Women in a Vortex of Violence

Citation:

Carey Jr., David, and M. Gabriela Torres. 2010. “Precursors to Femicide: Guatemalan Women in a Vortex of Violence.” Latin American Research Review 45 (3): 142–64.

Authors: David Carey Jr., M. Gabriela Torres

Abstract:

Today women in Guatemala are killed at nearly the same rate as they were in the early 1980s when the civil war became genocidal. Yet the current femicide epidemic is less an aberration than a reflection of the way violence against women has become normalized in Guatemala. Used to re-inscribe patriarchy and sustain both dictatorships and democracies, gender-based violence morphed into femicide when peacetime governments became too weak to control extralegal and paramilitary powers. The naturalization of gender-based violence over the course of the twentieth century maintained and promoted the systemic impunity that undergirds femicide today. By accounting for the gendered and historical dimensions of the cultural practices of violence and impunity, we offer a re-conceptualization of the social relations that perpetuate femicide as an expression of post-war violence. 

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Justice, Impunity, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2010

Where Women Rebel: Patterns of Women’s Participation in Armed Rebel Groups 1990-2008

Citation:

Henshaw, Alexis Leanna. 2016. Where Women Rebel: Patterns of Women’s Participation in Armed Rebel Groups 1990-2008.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (1): 39–60. doi:10.1080/14616742.2015.1007729.

Author: Alexis Leanna Henshaw

Abstract:

While a significant literature on women's participation in armed rebel groups exists, much of this work is focused on individual cases or regional comparisons among movements. This has led to a lack of cross-national work on women in insurgencies, and a limited understanding of the extent to which women are engaged in civil conflict internationally. This article introduces new data on women's involvement in seventy-two insurgencies active since 1990, and assesses the validity of several assumptions about women and rebellion drawn from existing literature on women in conflict and on civil wars generally. I show that women are active in rebel groups much more often than current scholarship acknowledges. This involvement includes frequent service in combat and leadership roles, where male participants are often presumed to be the default. Finally, while forced recruitment tactics are frequently used to bring women into service, much of their participation appears to be voluntary in nature.

Keywords: gender, civil conflict, terrorism, insurgency

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Militarized livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militias, Paramilitaries, Non-state Armed Groups, Terrorism

Year: 2016

Death-Squads Contemplating Queers as Citizens: What Colombian Paramilitaries Are Saying

Citation:

Payne, William J. 2016. “Death-Squads Contemplating Queers as Citizens: What Colombian Paramilitaries Are Saying.” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 23 (3): 328–44. 

Author: William J. Payne

Abstract:

Colombian right-wing paramilitary forces aligned with the state and leftist guerrilla groups are associated with homophobic and transphobic attacks. However, the most extreme accounts of violence are attributed to the former group. Sexual and gender minorities are victimized in the ongoing internal conflict in which armed actors use attacks as a form of communicative violence meant to discipline the civilian population. At the same time, Colombian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities are making significant advances in gaining recognition of their human rights. This article explores the space where the advance of LGBT rights confounds reactionary homophobic beliefs of illegal right-wing armed groups. I consider how concepts such as ‘nation’ and ‘citizen’ shape the discourse of paramilitary forces in their account of their group's homophobic violence. Special attention is paid to the logic provided by two informants, former paramilitary members themselves, regarding the conditions under which right-wing paramilitary groups would be obliged to recognize the rights of sexual and gender minorities as citizens. The article concludes with a discussion of how the development of a sexual citizenship discourse, in place, may serve to disrupt extreme violence against sexual and gender minorities in the context of militarization and armed conflict.

Keywords: sexual citizenship, paramilitary, homophobic violence, Colombia, LGBT, queer

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Gender, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Rights, Human Rights, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

On Living with Negative Peace and a Half-Built State: Gender and Human Rights

Citation:

Azarbaijani-Moghaddam, Sippi. 2007. “On Living with Negative Peace and a Half-Built State: Gender and Human Rights.” International Peacekeeping 14 (1): 127–42. doi:10.1080/13533310601114335.

Author: Sippi Azarbaijani-Moghaddam

Abstract:

This article examines the double standards associated with a precarious international peacebuilding strategy in Afghanistan based on impunity and half-truths rather than accountability and transitional justice. Many international organizations have turned a blind eye to past and current human rights atrocities through forms of rationalization based on an empowerment of cultural differences, relativization of progress and ‘policy reductionism’. Consequently, and in the absence of consistently applied rights instruments, societal divisions along gender, ethnic and other lines have intensified Afghanistan’s culture of intolerance to human rights, thereby violating the very principles the international community purports to uphold. Drawing on first-hand experiences, personal interviews and a sober analysis of trends, this article challenges some of the conventional assumptions held about the perception and knowledge of human rights among Afghans. It concludes by identifying possible areas of future study to better understand both the prospects for transitional justice and how ordinary Afghans continue to cope with widespread injustice and inequality.

 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Civil Society, Corruption, Ethnicity, Gender, International Organizations, Justice, Impunity, Transitional Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militias, Paramilitaries, Peacebuilding, Rights, Human Rights, Violence Regions: Asia, Middle East Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2007

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