Situated modes of land grabbing in Latin America: everyday dispossessions I

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Latin America Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Washington 1, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Organizers: Natalia Perez, Fernanda Rojas Marchini
Chairs: Natalia Perez

Call for Submissions

Please email abstracts (max 250 words) to or by Oct. 19, 2018. Please feel free to email the co-organizers with any questions you may have. We will notify you if your paper will be selected for the Situated modes of land grabbing or “acaparamiento de tierras” in Latin America session by October 22, 2018.  You must then register and submit your official abstract to AAG prior to the October 25, 2018 deadline (


Land grabbing or “acaparamiento de tierras” is an elusive concept. Mainstream definitions of land grabbing have riveted the term to that of contemporary large-scale, capital-driven, and discrete phase of land deals, obscuring small and medium scales of everyday dispossessions (e.g. Borras, et al., 2012; Fairhead, et al, 2012). In an attempt to overcome the limits of such view, in Latin America, perspectives such as feminist political economy, feminist and postcolonial political ecologies, and feminist indigenous scholarships have offered situated accounts on the variegated modes of ‘grabbing the land’, associating the event with everyday recreations of ongoing capitalist, racial and patriarchal value-hierarchy orders. (e.g. León Araya, 2017; Mollett, 2015, 2016; Ojeda, 2012; Ojeda et al., 2015; Rocheleau, 2015). In so doing, these scholarships repurpose mainstream definitions to include large, medium and small arrangements in intimacy with forms of everyday dispossession deeply embedded in Latin America’s colonial and patriarchal landscapes: a reality amply discussed by feminist indigenous and mestizo scholars in the region (Espinosa Miñoso & Leone, 2010; Gargallo, 2014; Rivera Cusicanqui, 2010; 2012).

This paper session aims to respond to Sharlene Mollett’s call toward Latin Americanists geographers to explicitly recognize the saliency of racism and patriarchy on the arenas of land grabbing and Diana Ojeda’s insistence in looking at land grabbing’s situated histories and geographies if we aim to understand “its continuities and ruptures” with colonial rule. (Ojeda, forthcoming 2018).

This session welcomes papers that deal with a variety of geographical locations and temporal periods in Latin America and offer accounts on the ongoing and everyday processes of concentration of land, water and other life essentials that used to be controlled by rural indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in the region. Likewise, through an engagement with situated views of land grabbing, we want to pay attention to the multiplicity of active, coordinate and/or subtle modes of resistance to this process (e.g. León Araya, 2017).

Suggestions for paper topics include (but are not limited to) the following questions and themes:

• Re-conceptualizations of land grabbing as ongoing and unfinished processes that maps race, gender, and class hierarchies onto the land.
• The relationship between water and land grabbing.
• Property regimes and their role in land grabbing.
• State formations and manifestations of development policies vis-à-vis processes of land, water and green grabbing.
• How does land become an arena of (legitimate)exclusions?
• (Dis)connections between armed conflict and land grabbing.
• Everyday, organized or spontaneous forms of resistance to land grabbing.

Borras, S. M., Kay, C., Gómez, S., & Wilkinson, J. (2012). Land grabbing and global capitalist accumulation: key features in Latin America. Canadian Journal of Development Studies/Revue Canadienne d’études Du Développement, 33(4), 402–416.

Espinosa Miñoso, Y., & Leone, L. de (Eds.). (2010). Aproximaciones críticas a las prácticas teórico-políticas del feminismo latinoamericano. Buenos Aires: En la Frontera.

Fairhead, J., Leach, M., & Scoones, I. (2012). Green Grabbing: a new appropriation of nature? Journal of Peasant Studies, 39(2), 237–261.

Gargallo, F. (2014). Feminismos Desde Abya Yala. Ciudad de México: Editorial Corte y Confección.

León Araya, A. (2017). Domesticando el despojo: palma africana, acaparamiento de tierras y género en el Bajo Aguán, Honduras. Revista Colombiana de Antropología, 53(1), 151–185.

Mollett, S. (2015). “Displaced Futures”: Indigeneity, Land struggle and Mothering in Honduras. Politics, Groups, and Identities. https://doi:10.1080/21565503.2015.1080620

Mollett, S. (2016). The power to plunder: rethinking land grabbing in Latin America. Antipode 48(2), 412–432.

Mollett, S. (2017). Celebrating Critical Geographies of Latin America: Inspired by an NFL Quarterback. Journal of Latin American Geography, 16(1), 165–171.

Ojeda, D. (2012) Green pretexts: Ecotourism, neoliberal conservation and land grabbing in Tayrona National Natural Park, Colombia. The Journal of Peasant Studies 39(2): 357-375.

Ojeda, D. (Forthcoming 2018) Land-grabbing in Latin America and the Caribbean: sedimented landscapes of dispossession. In: Julie Cupples, Marcela Palomino-Schalscha and Manuel Prieto (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Latin American Development. New York and London: Routledge.

Ojeda, D. Petzl, J. Quiroga, C., Ana Catalina, R. and Rojas, J.G. (2015) Paisajes del despojo cotidiano: acaparamiento de tierra y agua en Montes de María, Colombia. Revista de Estudios Sociales 54: (October 2015): 107-119.

Rivera Cusicanqui, S. (2010). Violencias (re)encubiertas en Bolivia. La Paz, Bolivia: Piedra Rota.

Rivera-Cusicanqui, S. (2012). Ch’ixinakax utxiwa: A Reflection on the Practices and Discourses of Decolonization. South Atlantic Quarterly, 111(1), 95–109.

Rocheleau, D. E. (2015). Networked, rooted and territorial: green grabbing and resistance in Chiapas. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 42(3–4), 695–723.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Diana Ojeda*, Universidad Javeriana, Sedimented Landscapes of Dispossession and Landgrabbing in Latin America and the Caribbean 20 9:55 AM
Presenter Lindsey Carte*, Universidad de la Frontera, Claudia Radel, Utah State University, Birgit Schmook, ECOSUR, Richard Johnson, University of Arizona, The slow displacement of smallholder farming families: land and labor migration in Nicaragua and Guatemala 20 10:15 AM
Presenter María Belén Noroña*, Geography Department, Oil indigenous epistemologies and social justice at extractive frontiers. 20 10:35 AM
Presenter Monica Hernandez*, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Challenging collective property regimes for the Afro Colombian communities of La Boquilla and Medio Atrato 20 10:55 AM
Discussant Fernanda Rojas Marchini University of British Columbia 20 11:15 AM

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