Article

Critical Bibliography on La Violencia in Colombia

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Abstract

La violencia in Colombia, from 1946 to 1965, the largest armed conflict in the western hemisphere since the Mexican Revolution, was one of the world's most extensive and complex internal wars of this century. The study of the violencia strains at the limits of all the social sciences.

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... However, this literature remains virtually unexplored by professional scholars concerned with these and other issues raised earlier in this paper. 12. See Ramsey (1973) for an annotated bibliography on La Violencia. 13. ...
Article
In the study of agrarian politics in general and the history of rural Colombia in particular, four broad, interrelated perspectives are relevant to the understanding of rural politics: peasants and rebellion, the interaction of local and national politics, patron-client relations, and regionalism. Principal issues and trends within each of these areas are explored here, and an effort is made to generate specific questions for historical investigation. The present state of research on rural history and politics in Colombia is also surveyed, and observations are advanced on how new research orientations originating in these perspectives may contribute to our understanding of social and political developments in Colombia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
... Large areas of Colombia continue to remain in the hands of left-wing guerilla movements. See Guzman (1964) and Ramsey (1973). ...
Thesis
This thesis examines state interventions into self-help building in Pereira, Colombia using a critical and analytical framework developed out of articulation theory. In Part One the shift from 'conventional' to self-help housing policies in Latin America in the post-war period is understood in the context of the transition from 'modernization' to `neo-modernization' development strategies, such as Redistribution with Growth and Basic Needs. A history of self-help housing theories and policies draws out the global and structural conditions of articulation underpinning their ascendancy in the Seventies. A systematic theoretical framework is elaborated that identifies 'spontaneous' self-help activities as a distinct form of housing production differentiated from state self-help projects by its specific conditions of articulation. A general model of Latin American urban politics is then presented. Part One concludes by postulating the specific conditions of economic, political and ideological articulation characteristic of state self-help housing projects. In Part Two a systematic historical and empirical analysis is presented of those aspects of Pereira's urban and housing development related to the theoretical issues. State efforts at organizing self-help activities through housing and upgrading projects and community development structures are examined. Three models are developed to explain the political articulation of the low income settlement process by the local state, political party and patron-clientage structures. In the case studies of a squatter settlement and state self-help housing project that follow, empirical evidence of self-help activities is assembled and the economic, ideological and political articulations that govern them are identified. In Part Three an interpretation of the empirical materials from Pereira identifies the articulations governing state self-help housing projects and the economic, political and ideological limits to their use as low income housing solutions in the city.
... Un debate no resuelto en torno al gaitanismo A pesar de ser uno de los fenómenos sociales más sobresalientes de la época, los diversos intentos por estudiar las dimensiones y facetas del movimiento gaitanista han sido eclipsados por una marcada preferencia hacia el estudio de la vida de Jorge Eliécer Gaitán (1898Gaitán ( -1948, o bien, y en mayor medida, por las investigaciones relacionadas con las consecuencias producidas a raíz de su asesinato, es decir, los estudios sobre el impacto de los acontecimientos del 9 de abril de 1948 (el denominado Bogotazo), así como por aquellas investigaciones que trataron de comprender el proceso de configuración del período de la historia política colombiana en el cual estos hechos estuvieron inscritos, época comúnmente denominada como el período de La Violencia (1946)(1947)(1948)(1949)(1950)(1951)(1952)(1953)(1954)(1955)(1956)(1957). 1 Un repaso de esta literatura nos permite distinguir tres tipos de estudios o investigaciones. El primero de ellos 1 En relación con la importancia dada por las ciencias sociales colombianas a La Violencia, Russell Ramsey (1973) contabilizó más de cien investigaciones relacionadas con este período, hasta los años setenta. Para un debate en torno al período de La Violencia, consúltense también Fals Borda, Guzmán y Umaña (1988), Martz (1969), Hobsbawm (1974), Sánchez (1986), Pécaut (2002) y Palacios (1995). ...
... Un debate no resuelto en torno al gaitanismo A pesar de ser uno de los fenómenos sociales más sobresalientes de la época, los diversos intentos por estudiar las dimensiones y facetas del movimiento gaitanista han sido eclipsados por una marcada preferencia hacia el estudio de la vida de Jorge Eliécer Gaitán (1898Gaitán ( -1948, o bien, y en mayor medida, por las investigaciones relacionadas con las consecuencias producidas a raíz de su asesinato, es decir, los estudios sobre el impacto de los acontecimientos del 9 de abril de 1948 (el denominado Bogotazo), así como por aquellas investigaciones que trataron de comprender el proceso de configuración del período de la historia política colombiana en el cual estos hechos estuvieron inscritos, época comúnmente denominada como el período de La Violencia (1946)(1947)(1948)(1949)(1950)(1951)(1952)(1953)(1954)(1955)(1956)(1957). 1 Un repaso de esta literatura nos permite distinguir tres tipos de estudios o investigaciones. El primero de ellos 1 En relación con la importancia dada por las ciencias sociales colombianas a La Violencia, Russell Ramsey (1973) contabilizó más de cien investigaciones relacionadas con este período, hasta los años setenta. Para un debate en torno al período de La Violencia, consúltense también Fals Borda, Guzmán y Umaña (1988), Martz (1969), Hobsbawm (1974), Sánchez (1986), Pécaut (2002) y Palacios (1995). ...
Article
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After reviewing the major studies of Colombian populist leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitan (1898-1948) and social movement that formed around him (gaitanismo), this article suggests alternative ways to interpret them in order to highlight other kinds of dimensions and aspects present in the social movement. To do so, we present and discuss the notions of frame, political opportunity structure, and discursive opportunity structure as tools that can contribute to a more detailed understanding of the characteristics and dimensions of this social movement. The article concludes with some general information about the impact exerted by Gaitan and his movement over the formation and exercise of public opinion.
... Frecuentemente se ha subestimado la importancia de este factor. Los primeros estudios de "La Violencia", la ola de la violencia rural que, según estimaciones, causó la muerte de alrededor de 200.000 personas entre 1948 y el fin de los años cincuenta, tuvieron como enfoque los aspectos políticos (Ramsey, 1973). El primer paso que se tomó como respuesta a esa crisis fue también política, la creación de un sistema a través del cual los dos partidos políticos tradicionales compartieron el poder como Frente Nacional. ...
... Un debate no resuelto en torno al gaitanismo A pesar de ser uno de los fenómenos sociales más sobresalientes de la época, los diversos intentos por estudiar las dimensiones y facetas del movimiento gaitanista han sido eclipsados por una marcada preferencia hacia el estudio de la vida de Jorge Eliécer Gaitán (1898Gaitán ( -1948, o bien, y en mayor medida, por las investigaciones relacionadas con las consecuencias producidas a raíz de su asesinato, es decir, los estudios sobre el impacto de los acontecimientos del 9 de abril de 1948 (el denominado Bogotazo), así como por aquellas investigaciones que trataron de comprender el proceso de configuración del período de la historia política colombiana en el cual estos hechos estuvieron inscritos, época comúnmente denominada como el período de La Violencia (1946)(1947)(1948)(1949)(1950)(1951)(1952)(1953)(1954)(1955)(1956)(1957). 1 Un repaso de esta literatura nos permite distinguir tres tipos de estudios o investigaciones. El primero de ellos 1 En relación con la importancia dada por las ciencias sociales colombianas a La Violencia, Russell Ramsey (1973) contabilizó más de cien investigaciones relacionadas con este período, hasta los años setenta. Para un debate en torno al período de La Violencia, consúltense también Fals Borda, Guzmán y Umaña (1988), Martz (1969), Hobsbawm (1974), Sánchez (1986), Pécaut (2002) y Palacios (1995). ...
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Full-text available
After reviewing the major studies of Colombian populist leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán (1898-1948) and social movement that formed around him (gaitanismo), this article suggests alternative ways to interpret them in order to highlight other kinds of dimensions and aspects present in the social movement. To do so, we present and discuss the notions of frame, political opportunity structure, and discursive opportunity structure as tools that can contribute to a more detailed understanding of the characteristics and dimensions of this social movement. The article concludes with some general information about the impact exerted by Gaitán and his movement over the formation and exercise of public opinion.
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Se ha dado en llamar “novela de la violencia” en la literatura colombiana, a toda aquella producción novelística que refleja la situación sociopolítica de Colombia durante las décadas del cuarenta y del cincuenta. En este período el país se vio envuelto en una serie de luchas internas que afectaron profundamente la situación socioeconómica de Colombia, especialmente en lo que se refiere a la población campesina.
Thesis
Este trabalho porta sobre a produção intelectual elaborada sobre a região amazônica na área de ciências sociais em três países: Brasil, Colômbia e Equador. Para realizar esse objetivo é feita uma discussão sobre o processo de transformação da região. É argüido que se trata de um processo que se repetiu ao longo do tempo em outras regiões do globo e que não se constitui em um movimento único na história, a não ser pelas especificidades locais. A própria irracionalidade desse avanço, que constitui e define em grande parte o objeto de estudo dessas ciências sociais, ou ao menos a tensão central em torno da qual é elaborada, é reveladora dos limites, das franjas de possibilidades reais que secolocam diante de nossa sociedade. Concluímos que trabalhar esse tema, os estudos amazônicos, dos de maior envergadura para a área ambiental, pode levar a entrever não apenas problemas presentes na região de maior floresta tropical do mundo. De uma forma especial esse tema nos habilita também a discutir a atual crise industrial, política e social traduzida pelo que chamamos de dilema ambiental.
Chapter
We conclude these essays with a perplexing example, where political violence as a form of exchange itself comes to be normal. An aspect of political life regarded as underground in most countries (even in Italy where the Mafia has penetrated the highest places), political violence in Colombia is open, visible, accepted, and persistent. With Sendero words are things, reified, and symbolically dense. With La Violencia words are vacant. Events are the real thing — they are what they are. At this point discourse, and discourse analysis, simply fade into irrelevance.
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This article presents hermeneutics results about the knowledge of the rural civil war in the middle of the last century known as "the Violence in Colombia". It aims to build inroads in an attempt to access the domain of morality. This hermeneutic is supported by Spinoza, Nietzsche and Foucault, and employs political, journalistic and scientific papers written about the Violence and completed between the twenties and the nineties of the twentieth century.
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Most of the extraordinary waves of terror which have swept many Latin American societies since 1970 have occurred in guerrilla-based insurgencies or even civil wars. Because of the massive body counts produced during these confrontations between revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries based in or linked with a government, human rights organizations have issued a long series of reports about terror—especially that which has been carried out by incumbent regimes and death squads—and which has been supplemented by the exposés of the guerrillas themselves. Amnesty International, the Human Rights group in the Organization of American States (OAS), and Americas Watch have been the major international actors documenting the wave of terror. Many independent national groups, such as El Salvador's “Socorro Juridico” and other human rights organizations linked with church bodies have undertaken that more perilous task at home.
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For years it was argued by North American scholars that violence and coups in Latin America were aberrations from a more desirable or more "natural" course of political change: the agreement to abide by election results. More recently, astute observers have demonstrated that coups and coercion are often not unusual or even disparaged, but rather an institutionalized way of doing political business. In various political systems, certain levels of violence may become considered appropriate, if not almost de rigueur, a regular feature of the political landscape (Horowitz, 1968:45-70; Anderson, 1967: Chap. 4; Payne, 1968; Fagen and Cornelius, 1969:383-419). Perhaps the pendulum has swung too far. We have become inclined to regard some degree of violence as too natural in Latin America without examining the different origins and catalysts of violence in different political contexts. In some countries certain levels of violence associated with political activity may be endemic, the periodicity and ranges of violence rather predictable. In others, high levels of violence may represent rather unusual political business. To distinguish between violence as the customary partner of political acitivity and violence as an egregious "outside agitator" is to raise an issue often obscured by cross-national studies of violence. Certainly cross-national studies have revealed a good deal about the socioeconomic and demographic factors associated with different levels and varieties of violence (Feierabend and Feierabend, 1966; Bye, 1968; Tanter, 1967). What those studies have rarely investigated, however, is the process by which violence is linked to political activity. This essay explores that process by examining a case study: the phenomenon of la violencia, a wave of unusually savage, widespread
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