De-indigenized but not defeated: race and resistance in Colombia's Peace Community and Campesino University

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Abstract

Despite the institution of multicultural policies and pluriethnic governments across Latin America, racist violence against Indigenous and Afro-descendant groups persists. Yet the racial facets of violence against non-ethnic campesinos remain unexplored. Integrating scholarship on race as a global structure and Latin American racial formations, I offer an account of racialization in Colombia. This article analyzes the racial dynamics of resistance to extractivism in Colombia's Campesino University, uniting Indigenous and campesino groups like the San José de Apartadó Peace Community. While the dominant race lexicon separates “campesinos” like San José's peasants from “Indigenous” and “Black” groups, I argue that the identifier campesino mestizo hides how San José's farmers were “de-indigenized” yet remain racialized as the less-than-human “Indigenous savage”. If racialization works to dominate but also divide the subaltern, then Campesino University participants’ cross-ethnic solidarity network against what they affirm is a shared experience of racist violence both unveils and counters racism.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 11 2018

Cite this

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abstract = "Despite the institution of multicultural policies and pluriethnic governments across Latin America, racist violence against Indigenous and Afro-descendant groups persists. Yet the racial facets of violence against non-ethnic campesinos remain unexplored. Integrating scholarship on race as a global structure and Latin American racial formations, I offer an account of racialization in Colombia. This article analyzes the racial dynamics of resistance to extractivism in Colombia's Campesino University, uniting Indigenous and campesino groups like the San Jos{\'e} de Apartad{\'o} Peace Community. While the dominant race lexicon separates “campesinos” like San Jos{\'e}'s peasants from “Indigenous” and “Black” groups, I argue that the identifier campesino mestizo hides how San Jos{\'e}'s farmers were “de-indigenized” yet remain racialized as the less-than-human “Indigenous savage”. If racialization works to dominate but also divide the subaltern, then Campesino University participants’ cross-ethnic solidarity network against what they affirm is a shared experience of racist violence both unveils and counters racism.",
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