This co-written article explores the pivotal period (1946–1953) in Colombian history when more than 200,000 mostly rural Colombians lost their lives and hundreds of thousands more were displaced. Based on a review of a variety of readings of La Violencia in Colombia, the article shows how stories of the body offer a useful lens through which to examine violence and the formation of citizenship at the dawn of modern Colombia. We document how cruelty was used as an object of public display and how terror became an instrument to control communities. From this, our article argues that instead of seeing individuals capable of self-regulation, Colombia’s elite saw a pueblo in need of physical and cultural improvement.
I research economic and environmental anthropology and resource extraction in Colombia and New Brunswick. This is my personal blog.