Harrinson Cuero Campaz

Biography

Harrinson Cuero Campaz is a black scholar and a member of a black organization in Colombia focused on defending collective rights, such as identity, territory and self- governance. He is a PhD student on sustainable planning for Black communities. Graduated in ecology, specialized in environmental law and holding a master’s degree in territorial planning and environmental management. He has extensive experience in territorial planning, coordinating multi-disciplinary working groups with civil society and local authorities and designing community-based protection strategies. Harrinson has published several articles on the participation of peasant and afro- descendent communities in decision-making.

Abstract

Buenaventura, Colombia and the model for the construction of social minefields

This article presents the preliminary results of my doctoral thesis, which analyzes the elements that underlie the socio-cultural and economic conflict in the port city of Buenaventura, Colombia, and the role that the model of territorial planning has played in a scenario where an important economic dynamic of the country converges with the highest rates of multidimensional poverty. Materials and methods: social minefields are a conceptual framework proposed by Cesar R. Garavito (2012). This framework allows to analyze the complex process of spatial sedimentation of territories, from a diachronic and synchronic perspective, as well as, from the angle of political ecology and human geography. The methodology and framework proposed offers a systemic view of key issues in territorial planning and management such as, environmental (R. Keucheyan, Joan M. Allier), economic, social (Laura Pulido and Foucault), and, above all, cultural (Arturo Escobar) issues. The places studied here share: a historical social and economic importance, a position as economic centers in neo-liberal dynamics, high sub-regional populations, and high levels of violence, which are the result of the armed conflict to control land and its resources. Results and discussion: The approach of the social minefields allows to identify different actors, visions and instruments that confront to control territories in strategic regions. The tsunami of social unrest resulting from the deepening of the capitalist and neoliberal model has removed the social sediments long rooted in the region and it allowed previously established indigenous and black management processes to arise. Conclusions: The preliminary results presented here highlight the added value of social minefields as a framework for the analysis of spatial sedimentation processes of territories (ordering and management) in economically promising regions; and proposes methodological alternatives for the approach of new socio-environmental scenarios marked by the resurgence of key actors, politically and/or economically historically marginalized, in a clear process of appropriation and re-adaptation of old institutional structures.

Affiliation: Universidad del Rosario