Sexual Violence, Land Dispossession, and Illegal Armed Groups

Friday, 20 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Jasmin HRISTOV, University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Canada
This paper analyzes the dialectical relationship between land dispossession and sexual violence against women by taking the Colombian case as a starting point and providing illustrative examples from other countries in Latin America. While the scholarship on gender-based violence in Latin America is substantial, it is largely concentrated in the following three areas: intimate-partner / domestic violence, gang / criminal violence, and sexual violence as a tool of war in the context of armed conflicts. There has been no analysis of sexual violence as both, a mechanism that can generate land dispossession as well as a consequence or a symptom of the social conditions created by land dispossession. This paper traces the patterns in the interaction among global capital (both legal and illegal), paramilitary (irregular) armed groups, and sexual violence. It demonstrates the parallels as well as interaction between the dispossession of small-scale farmers from their land and the dispossession of women from their sexuality. The central argument advanced here is that the vicious mutually reinforcing relationship between paramilitarism and patriarchy, which results in the commodification of women and children, is functional to securing some of the fundamental conditions for capital accumulation. Interwoven into the analysis are critical globalization theory, transnational and Marxist feminist theories, as well as a political economy approach to human rights.