Accepted Paper:

Struggling against permanent uncertainty: informal neighbourhoods in Bogotá (Colombia)  


Isabel González Enríquez (U.N.E.D.)

Paper short abstract:

This article focuses on the strategy of colombian displaced migrants for adapting to a context marked by perennial and unpredictable change and chronic violence in informal neighbourhoods in Bogotá. It also analyzes the motivations of these massive migration and its political implications.

Paper long abstract:

There are around 3 million people who have been forcefully displaced from their homes as a direct or indirect consequence of the armed conflict in Colombia. Threats, human rights violations, forced recruitment and armed confrontations have pushed millions of people, into moving to major cities in search for opportunities or state help which often isn't received or isn't enough. In Bogotà, as the city that receives the most of both displaced and economic migrants they are forced to relocate illegally and manually construct temporary shelters that have become shanty towns on the outskirts of Bogotà. The struggle of these people takes place in a country of total impunity and where the act of silence is not only a way of surviving but also a military strategy.

Contrary to expectations, the present government has not decreased the number of displaced people. In fact, the number is on the rise, due to the actions of both the state military and the illegal armed groups and paramilitaries. Millions of hectares of productive land have been abandoned and millions of displaced people have arrived in Bogotá. One of the basic characteristics of the Colombian armed conflict is the fact that all the groups in conflict have refused the possibility of making a real distinction between civilians and combatants and that is why violence is increasing in many Colombian cities. This increase of urban violence is related to the dynamics of the armed conflict, to drug trafficking and organized crime and to social cleansing acts.

Panel MMM31
The causes and diversity of migration processes (IUAES Commission on Migration and Diaspora)