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Accepted Paper:

In times of transition. Land and restorative justice in (post)conflict Colombia.  
claudia albano (Universitat de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

Land Restitution gave to its beneficiaries the opportunity of a safe and assisted return to the lands from which they had been displaced. In practice, however, restorative justice principles are diminished by inefficient bureaucracies and the socioeconomic inequalities faced by peasants in Colombia.

Paper long abstract:

Over eight million peasants have been forcibly displaced from their territories and dispossessed of their lands as a result of the armed conflict in Colombia. In 2011, illegal land-grabbing was addressed by a specific legislation. After years of living in impoverished city outskirts, the so-called Victims and Restitution Law was meant to guarantee peasants an assisted homecoming. Balancing reparation and accountability is the main aim of a process of transitional justice, of which land restitution is a mainstay. Drawing on my ongoing PhD dissertation, I intend to explore the experiences of restitution beneficiaries who return to San Carlos (Antioquia) to propose an anthropological review of the restorative approaches, both in a material and a symbolic sense.

I argue that the individual-oriented reparations seem to be limited in front of massive dispossession; forcing farmers to cope with the consequences (and the economic costs) of an inefficient and delayed implementation. However, the moral and political meaning of restitution is not only challenged by technical inefficiencies but also by structural and historical inequalities for which restitution has no answer. In (post)restitution contexts, the restorative goal of restitution clashes with the socioeconomic insecurity that mark the life of small farmers in rural Colombia.

Panel P109
Restorative approaches in a world of punitive populisms
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -