Blog Archives

Counter-power and self-defense in Latin America

Colombia Indigenous Guard kids

Children form a line during a march of Indigenous Guards in Colombia.

Against the backdrop of state and gang violence, some of the continent’s most affected communities have taken radical measures to defend themselves and build new social counter-powers from below.

by Raúl Zibechi, ROAR Magazine, January 29, 2018

In much of Latin America, the state does not protect its citizens. This is particularly true for the popular sectors, indigenous peoples, people of color and mestizos, who are exposed to the onslaught of drugs trafficking, criminal gangs, the private security guards of multinational corporations and, paradoxically, from state security forces such as the police and the army. Read the rest of this entry

The Indigenous Guard of Colombia

An article from 2008 on the  Indigenous Guard, an organized self-defense group used by Indigenous communities in Colombia.

Members of the Indigenous Guard displaying their batons, symbols of their membership in the group.

Colombia: Indigenous Self Defense in Times of War

by Raúl Zibechi, 05/06/2008,  the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy

The Cordillera Central is one of the prime regions torn by the war between the Colombian military and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The rural population, which is mostly lower class and of indigenous decent, and consequently the sector of the Colombian populous most dramatically hit by the armed confrontations, defends itself through the “Indigenous War.” Read the rest of this entry