REBEL GOVERNMENT AND CIVILIAN RESISTANCE

CONSERVATION EXPERIENCES DURING THE ARMED CONFLICT IN THE CAÑON DE LAS HERMOSAS IN COLOMBIA

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32435/envsmoke.20225131-32

Keywords:

Andean region, Armed groups, Civilian resistance

Abstract

Cañón de las Hermosas is located in a buffer zone of the Páramos Complex of the National Natural Park of the same name, located on the eastern flank of the Cordillera Central, in the Andean Region of Colombia. Several of the most recurrent symptoms in the diagnosis of civil war in the country were concentrated there: poverty and inequality, state precariousness-weakness, social and territorial control by armed groups, disputes over illegal rents derived from the cultivation and trafficking of illicit drugs (ECHANDÍA CASTILLA, 1996, 2000; APONTE GONZÁLEZ, 2019; OBSERVATORIO DE PAZ Y DERECHOS HUMANOS, 2020a, 2020b). This extensive zone was catalogued as one of the sanctuaries of the FARC guerrillas, which guaranteed security, collected taxes, administered justice and regulated coexistence efficiently and effectively through punishments, fines and executions. This happened, particularly with the protection of the environment, a phenomenon that comes close to what DÁVALOS calls "conservation at gunpoint" (DÁVALOS, 2001; CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS REGIONALES, 2020b).

After the weakening of the guerrilla by the pacification operations during the 2000s, this conservation work was left in the hands of the civilian population, who denounced the destruction of fragile ecosystems due to the militarization of the territory, and particularly, the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the Amoyá river, in the heart of the Hermosas Canyon. In my work I argue that the Observatorio de Derechos Humanos para la Protección del Medio Ambiente and Mesa de la Transparencia del Cañón de las Hermosas can be characterized as civil resistance mechanisms, conceived with the objective of protecting the population and the environment (TAFUR VILLAREAL, 2021). Community preferences are explained by the degree of social cooperation expressed from the mobilization (protest) and organization capacities, which allowed them to join all the autonomous community spaces of the village of Las Hermosas in a social platform for direct and indirect dialogue with institutional and political actors (among which are included the armed, legal and illegal ones).

At the methodological level, the research design and methods integrated fieldwork and archival review with qualitative analysis, and included field interviews, documentary and archival review.

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References

APONTE GONZÁLEZ, A.F. Grupos armados y construcción de orden social en la esquina sur del Tolima, 1948 - 2016. Bogotá: Fundación Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular, Programa por la Paz CINEP-PPP, Educapaz, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Cali, 2019.

CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS REGIUONALES. Análisis de la complejidad socio-ecológica del Tolima: identificación de los vínculos entre paisaje, socioeconomía y conflicto armado. Informe de investigación CERE, No. 1. Universidad del Tolima, noviembre de 2020.

DÁVALOS, L.M. The San Lucas mountain range in Colombia: how much conservation is owed to the violence? Biodiversity and Conservation, 10(1): 69-78. Available from: Doi: 10.1023/A:1016651011294. 2001.

ECHANDÍA CASTILLA, C. La amapola en el marco de las economías de ciclo corto. Análisis Político, n. 27, p. 3-19, 1996. Available from: https://revistas.unal.edu.co/index.php/anpol/article/view/74484.

ECHANDÍA CASTILLA, C. El conflicto armado colombiano en los años noventa: cambios en las estrategias y efectos económicos. Colombia Internacional, n. 49-50, p. 117-134, 2000. Available from: https://doi.org/10.7440/colombiaint49-50.2000.06.

OBSERVATORIO DE PAZ Y DERECHOS HUMANOS, Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento, CODHES. Contextos explicativos del desplazamiento forzado en el Sur del Tolima. Impactos sobre el territorio y la territorialidad, 1958-2018. Bogotá. 2020a.

OBSERVATORIO DE PAZ Y DERECHOS HUMANOS. Semillero Paz, Violencia y Orden Social. Dinámicas de la violencia del conflicto armado en Las Hermosas, Chaparral, Tolima (1986 - 2016). Informe de Investigación CERE 3. Universidad del Tolima. 2020b.

TAFUR VILLAREAL, A. Frente al Cañón: guerra y construcción de paz en Las Hermosas. Un análisis de la resistencia comunitaria, 2005 - 2010. Tesis de grado Maestría en Construcción de Paz, Universidad de los Andes. 2021.

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Published

30/04/2022

How to Cite

Tafur-Villarreal, A. (2022). REBEL GOVERNMENT AND CIVILIAN RESISTANCE: CONSERVATION EXPERIENCES DURING THE ARMED CONFLICT IN THE CAÑON DE LAS HERMOSAS IN COLOMBIA. ENVIRONMENTAL SMOKE, 5(1), 31–32. https://doi.org/10.32435/envsmoke.20225131-32

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