“As Alfredo Molano Bravo used to remind us, 'where there are lands, there are wars'”: introduction to the chapter 'Colombia adentro'

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Infobae Colombia is no stranger to the tribute paid by the Truth Commission to the chronicler, who, on the back of a mule, toured a country forgotten by the State , but not because of the war, to see first-hand the barbarity of the internal conflict in the territories and how it has mutated, leaving land problems in the background to focus on others; such as political power, terror and drug trafficking


Oscar Mauricio López

“As Alfredo Molano Bravo used to remind us, ‘where there are lands, there are wars’”: introduction to the chapter ‘Colombia adentro’

From the moment he was appointed as commissioner, he assembled his work team and went to do his thing, travel on foot, by mule and whatever, the routes that many do not know of Colombia. PHOTO: Infobae (Jesús Avilés)

Although he worked for only one year as Truth Commissioner, Alfredo Molano Bravo made a substantial contribution to the composition, not only of the volume 'Colombia adentro' on which this introduction is based, but also of the entire Final Report prepared by the Truth Commission. the truth. Each of the eleven volumes that make up the chapter dedicated to the territories and their conflict dynamics have even a hint of the legacy left by the sociologist who traveled the country like few others to better understand how the armed conflict and responsibility arose of each armed, legal, illegal and parastatal agent in the perpetuation of the armed struggle.

In fact, the Commission's introduction pays a tribute to Molano Bravo and some of the reasons have already been described here. Texts such as Del llano llano and Fragments of the history of the armed conflict (1920-2010) were essential inputs to assess, for example, that the armed conflict was not born solely due to issues of land, which became evident as the decades passed after the time of violence in the 1950s.

Although it had its genesis in the occupation of land, the dispossession and delivery of large estates to national and foreign companies, by the end of the 20th century the conflict was based on the control of drug trafficking, the expansion of paramilitaries and guerrillas and the commission of crimes such as kidnapping. Forced displacement and killings of civilians did not stop for this reason.

This is precisely what 'Colombia adentro' describes in its 11 volumes and what the second installment of the great special that this medium insisted on doing seeks to synthesize. Summarizing the impact of the internal war in 20 notes will not be enough; However, we decided to highlight facts that many are unaware of due to the oblivion of the regional war generated by centralism and the lack of women and men who decide to tour Colombia forgotten by the State, but not by social organizations and the Commission itself, such as the importance of the Nudo de Paramillo for the armed groups, or the seizure of the ELN which ended in the elaboration of a constituent municipal assembly in the community town of Mogotes.

“The regional histories that make up this volume show forcefully that the armed conflict obeyed institutional logics related to the “absence of the State” and the concrete way in which its presence was acquired.a”, mentions the Commission in that chapter, arguing that, although there was a time focused on the occupation of the land, there were other underlying problems.

Each of the eleven regions narrates different dynamics of the war: while in Magdalena Medio the problem was based on the persecution of the settlers and the concession of Mares delivered to foreign oil multinationals, such as Tropical Oil, in Valle del Cauca the main dynamic was dispossession for the sugarcane cultivation and the protection that paramilitaries gave to those lands (a fact also described by Molano Bravo in On the Other Side, one of his books).

Thus, given the great deployment made by the Commission, taking the example of the notable chronicler, Infobae Colombia decided to carry out a Interactive map with each of the regions delimited by the entity to address the conflict in the territories. From the Caribbean region to the Amazon, each one of them has different conflict dynamics but that are due to various factors: drug trafficking, corruption, control of estates, protection of national and foreign companies, and the legitimization of violent discourse taking refuge in the ' development of the Nation'.

No fraction of Colombia was spared from the internal war, because as Alfredo Molano Bravo mentioned before the other commissioners and other officials of the entity: “ where there are lands, there are wars”.