The land rush in the Colombian Amazon, changing labour dynamics, and the politics of climate change

Commodity & land rushes project Working Paper
Tempera on paper by Filipino activist painter Federico (“Boy”) Dominguez

In this paper, PhD researcher Itayosara Rojas, examines the politics of climate change, labour and state-citizenship dynamics shaping and reshaping the global land and commodity rush in the Colombian Amazon, one of the hotspots of the global land rush.

Explored from critical agrarian studies perspectives, this paper combines conjunctural analysis and landscape perspective to understand how the politics of climate change, labour, and state and citizenship dynamics are intertwined in the contemporary land and commodity rush.

Rojas argues that the contemporary land rush in Colombian Amazon takes place in the middle of five socio-economic and political processes:

  1. First, the political contestations around the peace agreement with the FARC-EP guerrilla.
  2. Second, is the consolidation of new territorial dynamics after the withdrawal of FARC troops.
  3. Third, it corresponds to the flows of production of illicit crops and the strategies oriented to deactivate illicit economies.
  4. Fourth, the increase of deforestation in areas previously under FARC control.
  5. Finally, the diminished institutional processes to implement the peace agreement in war-affected areas.

All of these correspond to simultaneous outcomes of market relations side by side with the deployment of extra-economic coercion by the state.

One implication of this study is to demonstrate the increasing need to embed studies of climate change, labor processes, and land and agrarian political economy systematically together.

PhD student

Itayosara Rojas

More information

About the Commodity & land rushes and regimes project

Guided by a multi-disciplinary theoretical framework and grounded in empirical work, the project engages in practical policy questions aimed at probing the potential for socially just and ecologically sustainable reforms.

It focuses on three countries which have been global hotspots of commodity and land rushes: Ethiopia, Myanmar and Colombia.

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Land rush Working Paper series

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