In the context of 'international accompaniment' work, such as that done by Peace Brigades International, the author first discusses racial categories in Colombia, and then how these are regionalized, before reviewing the racist discourses of tropicality that were and are used to do this. Discussed next are historic attempts to ‘whiten’ the nation and the ‘Colombian race’. The author concludes by looking at how these racial imaginaries are today both changing and hardening through the armed conflict. Ultimately the author argues that there continues to be a strong association between race and place that accompaniers, however unintentionally or reluctantly, use to make accompaniment ‘work’ in Colombia.
This paper was presented on January 19, 2012 at SFU Vancouver as part of the SFU/UBC Latin American Studies Working Paper Series.
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