Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 559090
Title Self-organization for everyday peacebuilding: The Guardia Indígena from Northern Cauca, Colombia
Author(s) Chaves, Paola; Aarts, Noelle; Bommel, Severine van
Source Security Dialogue 51 (2020)1. - ISSN 0967-0106 - p. 39 - 59.
Department(s) Strategic Communication
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2020
Keyword(s) Collective action - Colombia - indigenous communities - peacebuilding - self-organization

The Nasa indigenous group’s Guardia Indígena, whose primary goal is to protect indigenous people and their territories from all types of armed groups, is a nonviolent self-protection organization in Northern Cauca, Colombia. On 5 November 2014, while peace talks were ongoing between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government, two Guardia Indígena members were shot dead by FARC guerrillas. Without guns or physical violence, indigenous guards captured seven guerrillas responsible for the crime, and, four days later, indigenous organizations held a trial and sentenced the rebels to imprisonment. This article describes those events and investigates how the unarmed guards managed to capture the guerrillas and bring them to trial. The self-organization concept is used to gain insights into the mechanisms and strategies deployed. The mechanisms of the Guardia Indígena include constructing and applying specific social norms and values, developing a common goal, and applying a flexible mix of centralized and decentralized ways of organizing. By combining and activating these mechanisms at carefully chosen moments, indigenous people have succeeded in organizing themselves as a collective movement that is powerful enough to confront armed groups without using violence.

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