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‘Claims for a Bottom-Up Peacebuilding in the Colombian Peace Process. Afro-descendant Communities, Territories, Autonomy…and the ELN'

Author Attilio BERNASCONI
Director of thesis Mark Goodale
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis

In 2012, the Colombian government began meeting with the FARC-EP (Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia) leadership in La Havana, Cuba, to negotiate a new—and supposedly final—peace agreement. Analogous dialogues are also advancing with the ELN (National Liberation Army), the second largest Colombian left-wing insurgent group. The political circumstances resulting from the peace process have sparked the emergence of social movements that are engaged in the construction of a post-conflict society. Among these movements we find the black population, which in Colombia faces a historical marginalization and is now seeing the peace process as a space where to claim its right to self-determination.

The Ph.D. project I propose aims to analyze the participation and the role played by the Afro-descendant communities in the peace talks with the ELN. Particularly for concern their autonomy and the exploitation of the natural resources lying in their ancestral territories, nowadays controlled by the guerrilla. As the effort of understanding of peace processes is too often limited to the examination of the agreements between governments and insurgent groups, my bottom-up analysis will make an important contribution towards the comprehension of how communities act to shape their future in such contexts of political transition.​

Administrative delay for the defence