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Resisting abandonment: An ethnography of oil workers' resistance to political violence and capital accumulation in rural Colombia
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Colombia is the worst country to be a trade unionist in the world. Approximately 3,000 workers have been assassinated in the last 30 years, the state, paramilitary organizations and some multinationals being responsible for most of the murders. This fact highlights the importance of researching the mechanisms of mass violence against trade unionists including the mechanisms on part of the trade unionists that keep trade unionism alive. Because of the importance of studying power and resistance as part of social change, this thesis presents an ethnography of political violence against the labourers and the trade unionists that work for Pacific Rubiales Energy in the department of Meta, with focus on how those trade unionists resist such violence with an open resistance to both political violence and coercive capital accumulation. I state that the trade unionists, by adapting their list of demands to the locals' social and environmental needs, overstep corporatist trade unionism allowing them to break the social and physical death imposed by the state, the mafias and the multinational. I argue that the trade unionists' open resistance not only allows them to continue their social struggle and to challenge the violence exerted against them, but permits them to modernize a country that sustains a semi-feudal structure beneficial for the multinationals, the mafia barons and the economic and political elites by challenging their corrupt and murderous relations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 117 p.
Masteruppsatser i kulturantropologi, ISSN 1653-2244 ; 58
Keyword [en]
resistance, oil extraction, Colombia, anti-unionism
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-277715OAI: diva2:905492
Subject / course
Cultural Anthropology
Educational program
Masters in Humanities, Cultural Anthropology
Available from: 2016-02-23 Created: 2016-02-22 Last updated: 2016-02-23Bibliographically approved

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