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Accepted Paper:

Blurred governances: Community handbooks in FARC guerrilla´s areas of influence  
Liliana Duica-Amaya (Georgetown University)

Paper short abstract:

Analyzing community-legal archives is challenging where State monopolies are disputed. Guerrillas controlled territory exercising violence and regulating communities’ daily life. I explore blurred governances through handbooks assembling legal notions, community rules, and guerrilla orders.

Paper long abstract:

Modern states control the monopoly of violence, justice and order. But ¿What happened when alternative groups, besides the States, hold these monopolies? Colombia´s guerrilla FARC exercised governance in southern areas of the country using doses of violence and “bastard justices” to regulate the day-today life of communities. In FARC areas of influence, community-based level handbooks known as “Cartillas comunitarias” set forbidden behaviors within communities. A social leader mentioned: “FARC´s punishments worked as those of our parents. First, they forgive the kids. Second, they conciliate with them. Third, they receive physical punishment. The same applied for FARC´s justice. When someone broke the rules, we send them to FARC and they applied timely justice”. Relationships between guerrilla and communities are blurring. Usually varied from ecological landscapes, politico-military interests, and the presence or absence of the State. I would like to explain the challenges during my ethnographic in Colombian Amazon basin trying to understand FARC mechanisms to control population and territory. During fieldwork, I had access to community-handbooks produced by “Juntas de Acción Comunal” as hybrid legal byproducts. At some point these documents blend state-legal notions, community rules and guerrilla orders. I would like to explore the blurring area of ordinary concepts of power, identity and state construction to disentangle the production of these documents. I will focus on FARC´s Combatientes del Yarí handbook contrasted with interviews and ethnographic work in southern departments of Colombia (2017-2020). In those places governances are blurred and community handbooks pose challenges for legal-community archive analysis.

Panel Evid02b
Doing justice justice? Methodological and theoretical challenges in the anthropological study of legal historical archives II
  Session 1 Thursday 1 April, 2021, -