‘Rupture’ and the State: the ‘Radical Narrative’ of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

Antípoda: Revista de Antropología y Arqueología. 2017;29:17-40 DOI 10.7440/antipoda29.2017.01


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Antípoda: Revista de Antropología y Arqueología

ISSN: 1900-5407 (Print); 2011-4273 (Online)

Publisher: Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá)

LCC Subject Category: Geography. Anthropology. Recreation: Anthropology | Auxiliary sciences of history: Archaeology

Country of publisher: Colombia

Language of fulltext: Spanish, English, Portuguese

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Gwen Burnyeat (University College London, United Kingdom)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 52 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Urabá is one of the most emblematic groups of victims of the Colombian conflict. Trapped between the guerrilla, the paramilitaries and the army they declared themselves ‘neutral’ to the conflict, but violations continued, and they declared themselves in ‘rupture’ with the Colombian state. This article traces their ideas of ‘neutrality’ and ‘rupture’ ethnographically, showing how their genealogy constitutes what I call the ‘radical narrative’, an interpretative framework according to which the Community perceives every action of the state. It positions this analysis within anthropological debates which see the state as produced via state-society encounters with material and imaginative dimensions, in this case, direct violence and bureaucratic inefficiency. It concludes that communities’ perceptions of the state must be taken seriously in any trust-building attempt.