Violent Inequality and State Interactions: Land Concentration and Land Grabbing in the Extensive Colombian Frontier, 2000-2013

Authors: Diego Andres Lugo Vivas*, University of Miami
Topics: Rural Geography, South America, Political Geography
Keywords: Colombia, Land Concentration, New Frontiers of Land Control, Territorial Control by Armed Actors, State presence
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Studio 6, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper approaches the most significant relationships between land concentration and a set of political and economic variables in the peripheral Colombia. A panel data sample of 246 peripheral municipalities designated as “New Frontiers of Land Control (NFLCs)” for 14 years has been analyzed. These NFLCs represent the statistical-traceable universe where two spaces socially produced have historically overlapped: 1) contestation zones in which two or more political armed actors have been involved in a prolonged armed conflict and 2) territories harshly (re-)incorporated not only to the national and international economies but also to the differentiated control of State institutions.
I argue that the State and its interactions especially with armed actors, have been instrumental in the progress of land grabbing and land concentration in recent history. Three dimensions of the State (1. As a provider of public services, 2. In terms of its fiscal performance, and 3. In terms its coercive capacity) will be assessed individually but also dynamically through their interaction with 1) forms of territorial control by armed actors and 2) the influence of specific lootable industries. In that regard, municipalities where there is a joint presence of 1) paramilitary forces and oil royalties and 2) paramilitary (or guerrilla) territorial control along with high levels of fiscal dependency, show different and significant levels of associativity with land concentration.
Also, likely processes of land grabbing related to possible fragmentation of properties might be approached analyzing the level of property-tax collection especially in areas under paramilitary and disputed armed control

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