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Between the guerrillas and the state


Responding to pressure from the United States, in 1996 the Colombian government intensified aerial fumigation of coca plantations in the western Amazon region. This crackdown on illicit drug cultivation sparked an uprising among the region’s cocaleros, or small-scale coca producers and harvest workers. In the summer of 1996, more than 200,000 campesinos joined marches to protest against the heightened threat to their livelihoods. Between the Guerillas and the State is an ethnographic analysis of the cocalero social movement that emerged from the uprising. Maria Clemencia Ramirez focuses on how the movement unfolded in the department (state) of Putumayo, which has long been subject to the de facto rule of guerrilla and paramilitary armies. The national government portrays the area as uncivilized and disorderly and refuses to see the coca-growers as anything but criminals. Ramirez chronicles how the cocaleros demanded that the state recognize campesinos as citizens, provide basic services, and help them to transition from coca-growing to legal and sustainable livelihoods. Drawing on interviews with cocaleros, social movement leaders, guerrillas, and local, regional, and national government officials, she suggests that collective identities in Colombia’s Amazon region are shaped by a sense of having been abandoned by the state. Ramirez argues that the notion of citizenship mediates the dilemmas of a movement striving for inclusion in a state that excludes its members socially and politically.

SKU: 24583 Category: Tags: ,
Subtitle: The cocalero movement, citizenship, and identity in the Colombian Amazon
Author: Clemencia Ramirez, Maria
Year: 2011
ISBN: 9780822350156
Pages: 320
Language: English
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publisher's city: Durham
Publication date:
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