20225502(en)/7 - The Parable of the Entrepreneur: Power, Ignorance, and Reason in the Land Grabbing in Montes de María, Colombia
THE PARABLE OF THE ENTREPRENEUR: POWER, IGNORANCE, AND REASON IN THE LAND GRABBING IN MONTES DE MARÍA, COLOMBIA
LA PARÁBOLA DEL EMPRESARIO: PODER, IGNORANCIA Y RAZÓN EN LA APROPIACIÓN DE TIERRAS EN MONTES DE MARÍA, COLOMBIA
Between 2005 and 2010, in the region of Montes de María, Colombia, there was a mass purchase of lands by agribusinessmen from peasants who had been victims of the internal armed conflict. In this article, I ask about the forms of knowledge that were behind these deals. In particular, I seek to evaluate the proposition that the accumulation of land was the result of blindness towards the other, in this case the peasant farmer, which is typical of the game of power in the framework of the construction of the State: the businessmen ignored the peasants. To this end, I start from the anthropological understanding of interpretative work. As a methodological approach, I employ the concepts of liminality and diagnostic event and, on that basis, make a propositional analysis of the testimonies collected in a corpus of land restitution court rulings (2011 - 2019). The results show that the ignorance of businessmen, although it existed, was not generic, but consisted in an attitude of disregard towards peasants as subjects of state recognition. This opens up questions about the complex ways in which power, rules, and ignorance interact, the latter understood as a specific epistemic category.