Between Violence and Peace: Land Struggles and Internal Migrants in Colombia

Since the 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian state and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the problem of land tenure and land rights has been at the center of the political agenda. More than six million campesinos have been displaced from their lands by armed conflict and their return is considered essential for reconciliation. Most of the internally displaced, however, have no plans to return to their rural lives, instead choosing to forge new livelihoods in the country's cities.

From different disciplinary perspectives, this panel, held on October 30, 2018, explores the social tensions and political fractures that underpinned a 50-year conflict and that have far from subsided despite a cease fire and peace agreement, as well as the mechanisms designed to reconcile them.

Guest speakers:

Ana María Ibáñez is Professor at the School of Economics in Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and former Dean of the School and former director of the research center (CEDE). Her research focuses on the economic consequences of internal conflict, in particular the costs of war and conflict upon the civil population. In 2008, she published a book on the economic consequences of forced displacement in Colombia and in 2014 she edited a book on the economic and social costs of the Colombian conflict.

Sebastián Ramírez is a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University’s Global Health Program. He received his PhD and M.A. in Anthropology from Princeton University. His research focuses on the implementation of the Victim's Law, a state effort to stabilize and repair the victims of the war. In particular his work explores how victims participate and alter official practices of restitution. He has taught at Princeton and Rutgers.

Robert Karl is an assistant professor at Princeton University where he teaches modern Latin American history. He is broadly interested in the interaction between conflict, peace, and society. His research aims to recover the stories of how Colombians experienced and made sense of three key problems in contemporary history: violence, development (particularly inequality), and impunity. He is the author of Forgotten Peace: Reform, Violence, and the Making of Contemporary Colombia (2017) and is currently working on two book projects about the histories of impunity and inequality in modern Colombia.