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Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Afrocolombians, Atrato River, Destierro, Diaspora, Forced Migration, Massacre


The monograph Ripped from the land, shipped away, and reborn introduces the concept Destierro-which translates as uprooting, deracination, exile, exodus, and banishment- to unthink the intellectual, political, and legal categories used by prevailing intellectual models to narrate/explain the 2002 massacre, occurred at the community of Bellavista-Bojayá-Chocó-Colombia. This thesis offers a critical prospect of the event. It highlights ethno-historical analytics to deconstruct the concepts of forced displacement, and forced migration. I study the racial, class, gender, generational, and regional dimensions undergirding this phenomenon to propose an Afrodiasporic Decolonial Critique of the field of Forced Migration. Single-axis explanations of this event and phenomenon have failed to move forward a complex analytical framework to fully explain the joint effect of multiple systems of oppression at play in events of land dispossession. Variables such as race, place, gender, and class; historical processes such as colonialism, the development of capitalism, contemporary place-based ethno-territorial social mobilization, and neoliberal multiculturalism intersect in this massacre. Accordingly, it is an imperative for critical historical sociological research to craft theories, and concepts to understand these crossroads. The basic argument I develop is that the concepts of forced displacement, and forced migration are formulas for historical erasure, and therefore limited to contribute to the demands for reparation of the affected populations. Territories are socio-geo-historical formations that can only be understood within the context in which they are conceived, produced, re-produced, and unproduced. Likewise, the categories used to name and study land dispossession need to be contextually and historically grounded to capture both complex local specificities, and global linkages. I advocate for concepts that can be used as categories of analysis, social mobilization, and reparation; to unveil the historical roots of the current constellation of processes, which are generating a new cycle of Diaspora of the Afrocolombian population, and similar contexts in the world-system in which this phenomenon is observable. In this vein, unthinking/deconstructing the concepts of forced displacement, and forced migration, as well as the massacre of Bellavista as an event of forced displacement, is an attempt to write stories that can repair the broken dignity of those that have been, and still are continually exploited.


First Advisor

Agustin Laó-Móntes