Supplementary Material

“The Campesino was Born for the Campo”: A Multispecies Approach to Territorial Peace in Colombia

ABSTRACT I draw on ethnographic fieldwork with a social movement, the Peaceful Process of Reconciliation and Integration of the Alta Montaña, to explore practices of peacebuilding in rural Colombia. I use a multispecies lens to interrogate the discourse of territorial peace (paz territorial), revealing the ways in which both violence and peace intertwine human and nonhuman lives and relations in the Alta Montaña. Through analysis of the everyday assemblages forged between people, animals, forests, and crops, I demonstrate how the multispecies approach to peacebuilding found in the Alta Montaña sharpens our understanding of the mutually reinforcing processes of violent conflict and environmental degradation. As a result, I argue that multispecies anthropological analysis also enables a capacious conceptualization of peace, one that recognizes the full life-worlds of people as they seek, in their everyday lives, to reweave—and create anew—the social and ecological fabric of their communities. [violence, displacement, multispecies, peacebuilding, Colombia]


The following documentary, produced by the Alta Montaña’s audiovisual communications team as part of their historical memory process, explores the death of the avocado in the Alta Montaña, with firsthand accounts from avocado farmers, campesinos, and government bureaucrats. Reporteros de la Montaña (2016). Equipo de reporteros y reporteras de la Alta Montaña de El Carmen de Bolívar. (Audiovisual reporters of the Mountain [2016]. Audiovisual communications team of the High Mountain of El Carmen de Bolívar).

The following are photographs from events discussed in the article. Unless otherwise stated, photographs are by the author.

Over three hundred youth from the Alta Montaña gather as part of the Youth Peace Provokers of the Alta Montaña’s ecological and peacebuilding summit, reclaiming the physical spaces that were previously occupied by armed groups as spaces for peace and recreation. The youth audiovisual team hang their photos around the site, making present the memory and identity of the territory.

The leading banner for the mass mobilization for peace on October 19, 2016 reads: “Los jóvenes montemarianos se mueve por la paz” (Montemariana youth move for peace). (Photograph by Jeffrey S. Yoder)

The certificate used in the youth ecological summit (known as the “cacicazgo”) features a mico titi.

A campesino transports his harvest from a rural community in the Alta Montaña to sell in the city.

A meeting with the Victim’s Unit about collective reparations in the Alta Montaña. Their state-issued vests read: “Unidad para la Atención y Reparación Integral de las Víctimas” (Unit for the Attention and Integrative Reparations of the Victims). (Photograph by Elmer Arrieta Herrera, youth documenter of the Peaceful Process)

An avocado farmer holds up an avocado.

A large area of land with dead avocado being burned.

A sign made by the women’s committee of the Peaceful Process of Reconciliation and Integration of the Alta Montaña reads: “Buenavista territorio de paz” (Buenavista territory of peace).

Young people study the peace accords against the backdrop of the war-ruined church that sits next to the comunal meetinghouse.

Youth engage in a mapping exercise to know the territory. (Photograph by Elmer Arrieta Herrera, youth documenter of the Peaceful Process)

After the publication of the “Open Letter” the Youth Peace Provokers of the Alta Montaña began hosting delegations of youth from the capital cities to visit the territory of Montes de María where they facilitated circle-dialogues centered on bridging the gap between urban and rural life in Colombia.

A sign at the mass mobilization for peace in October reads: “Cuidar el medio ambiente es paz” (To care for the environment is peace). (Photograph by Jeffrey S. Yoder)

 

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