'Land is everything': Reclaiming grabbed indigenous land in Colombia

Land & Life Stories series
Commodity & land rushes regimes (RRUSHES-5) Land & Life Story series cover
Informal shelters built by indigenous of ‘Iwitsulibo’ – awaiting for a legal recognition of their ancestral lands
Lorenza Arango

'I was eight years old when they killed my father, and that was when we left this territory… I had to wander like a stranger, aimlessly…' 

This is a quote from a leader of San Rafael Warrojo talking about the land he and his family had to vacate in Colombia. Now the original inhabitants are reclaiming their land.

In this first in a series of Land & Life Stories,  Lorenza Arango Vásquez recounts this and other stories of indigenous peoples who were forced to abandon their land many years ago because of violence. When they came back, they found their land being occupied and farmed in a big agribusiness operation. Since then, they struggled to reclaim their land.

She describes their decade long struggle to recover their ancestral territories from which they were expelled in a context of armed conflict and violence.

PhD student
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Commodity & land rushes and regimes research project

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