The “War on Drugs” in Colombia’s Hinterlands: Law and State Violence in the Life of the Rural Population of Caquetá

TitleThe “War on Drugs” in Colombia’s Hinterlands: Law and State Violence in the Life of the Rural Population of Caquetá
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsRodríguez, Estefania Ciro
JournalRevista Colombiana de Sociología
Start Page105
Pagination105 - 133
Date Published09/2018

Previous research projects have focused the life of men and women living in the ghettos of the United States, in the context of the illicit drug economy. Now it is necessary to inquire into the configuration of this economy from the other end of the chain, that is, the production side, particularly in Colombian coca-growing territories. Through the study of the experiences of violence over rural men and women in Caquetá, the article seeks to characterise those rural spaces in which the Colombian State exercised a specific type of violence in the context of the “war on drugs”. It also shows the way in which these experiences determine the relationship between the rural population and the Colombian State.The article suggests that the “war on drugs” builds “hinterlands”, understood as spaces where State violence and social policy are exercised in a peculiar manner, in an environment of abandonment by and absence of the State. Thus, the way war is shaped, beyond regular and guerrilla warfare, creates a scenario of hostility, surveillance, stigmatization, and generalized poverty that affects the rural populations of Caquetá and diminishes the legitimacy of the State in that region.In implementing the agreements, it is necessary for the Colombian State to rethink its presence in the coca-growing regions, deactivate those marginalization spaces, and strengthen constitutional guarantees in the region so that rural inhabitants of Caquetá may have a dignified life. Besides the consensus regarding the need to revise the prohibitionist drug policy, there is a pressing need to assess the social damages it entails for the rural population of Caquetá and the social costs that society as a whole has had to assume. (Author)

Original PublicationLas tierras profundas de la "lucha contra las drogas" en Colombia: la Ley y la violencia estatal en la vida de los pobladores rurales del Caquetá
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