Landscapes of peace: Amazonian-agriculture and campesino’s struggles for the reshaping of post-conflict Putumayo

Authors: Kristina Van Dexter*, George Mason University, Micah Ingalls, Center for Development and Environment University of Bern
Topics: Environmental Science, Landscape, Latin America
Keywords: Colombia, agrobiodiversity, post-conflict landscapes, peace, Amazon
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Mid-City, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper analyzes agroecology as an option for peace among campesino farmers within the post-conflict frontier landscape of Putumayo, a department located in the Colombian Northwest Amazonia. In this former ‘zona roja’ and occupation zone of the FARC, a dispersed group of campesinos practice Amazonian-agriculture as an expression of peace and buen vivir in the wake of a new rural development that threatens to open the territory to agribusiness investments. Based on ethnographic research, this text explores the nomadism of Amazonian-agriculture in practice, including how that practice travels between farmers through embodied entanglements of ways of knowing and social processes, and how it frames the (re)construction of campesino territories and identities situated within a broader context of agrarian reform and peace in a post-conflict landscape. Amazonian-agriculture practiced by campesinos manifests the relationalities between humans and non-humans (seeds, soils, fungus and tropical forests) and can be seen as engendering forms of every-day resistance against, but also interacting with, colonial notions of agricultural development that seek to replace coca cultivation with new economies of violence. This research explores how such practices produce alternative territories and manifest a counter-narrative for the landscape which can be read as an ontological struggle that offers insights to approach agrobiodiversity conflicts, framed as both human and non-human, that emerge within a context of post-conflict agrarian and land reform. This research is framed more broadly by analysis on multiscalar conflict complexes (US policy agenda, the peace process, coca economy) and how these play out on the ground.

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