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Date of Award


Access Type

Campus Access

Document type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


First Advisor

Agustin Laó-Móntes

Second Advisor

Enobong Hannah Branch

Third Advisor

Sonia E. Álvarez

Subject Categories

African Studies | Latin American History | Law


Land restitution is acclaimed as a political-economic strategy to mend land dispossession. However, land restitution policies lacking an understanding of the history of land property rights and the conditions of inequality under which it is distributed may produce new forms of uprooting, and reconfigure dimensions of class, gender and racial inequality. This research explores how current loss of territories of Afrocolombian community councils is grounded in a long history of exploitation, racism, (hetero) patriarchy, and deracination. I study the persistent mechanisms that account for the uprooting of Afrocolombian rural populations, and the strategies of resistance people pursue. I use a qualitative methods approach. I analyze archival documents such as letters of freedom, alcabalas , and receipts of manumission, land reform, and manumission laws; conduct interviews, make short term immersions in the disputed territories; and scrutinize testaments, maps, and public policy documents. I investigate the ways in which land has been distributed since 1851, when slavery came to an end in Colombia, and the extent to which restorative justice can occur with the 1448/2011 Colombian victims' reparation, and land restitution law without addressing land distribution inequality.