By: Judy Marcela Chaves Agudelo
Yukpa people’s construction of territory are poorly known by most of society. The Yukpa have been labelled as ‘warriors’, ‘violent’ and ‘conflictual’, in opposite to the character of neighbor peoples at the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Wiwa, Kankuamo, Kogui and Arhuaco peoples), which seem more open to dialogue and concertation. Also, Yukpa people inhabits one of Colombia’s most geostrategic zones, the Serranía del Perijá, which has been the center of cycles of violence for land access and territorial control that began since the watiyas or whites arrival five centuries ago, and that appears endless. Hence, this people has been recognized since 2009, as under cultural and physical extermination risk due to the internal armed conflict.
This research seeks to make visible the situation of Yukpa people nowadays and to consider themselves as valid interlocutors in the constructions of territorial peace proposals. The proposals for peace construction must contemplate territorial meanings, environmental management, to identify the violence experienced and the possibilities for the reconstruction of the social network. Through this research I seek to know the Yukpa people’s territorial meanings and organizational processes, peace proposals and their care of life, at the El Koso, Cinco Caminos and La Laguna Yukpa reserve, settled in both the collective land, as well as the informal settlement, Kujtie, located at San José de Oriente (La Paz, Cesar, Colombia).