Violencia politica en la narrativa colombiana
Hidalgo, Chila Beatriz
Aguilar Mora, Jorge
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Although Colombia has been hailed as a long-standing democracy in Latin America, the country has lived in a State of permanent war for two centuries. In the nineteenth century, Colombia was the scene of eight general civil wars, fourteen local civil wars and three military uprisings. Also, in the twentieth century, it witnessed one of the biggest insurrections in the Western Hemisphere, followed by the longest of its wars that is elusively called “La Violence”. This dissertation addresses precisely the political violence triggered by the rivalry of the two traditional political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives in the 1940s and 1950s. By using two early representative works of what critics have deemed a genre in its self, “the violence novel in Colombia," this work traces a systematic political violence that is rooted in a long history but manifest new scenarios and practices. The first novel is Carlos Pareja’s El Monstruo (1955), which recounts the details of the assassination of the liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán on April 9, 1948, and the subsequent wave of violence that destroyed downtown Bogotá. The second work is Daniel Caicedo’s Viento seco (1954), which presents the political terror implemented by the conservative governments of Mariano Ospina Pérez (1946-1950) and Laureano Gómez (1950-1953), in order to obliterate the liberal leaning citizens. Through these textual reenactments of violence, the reader can access a history that has been suppresses and censored by the Sate while gaining an understanding of the methodology behind the rituals of political violence. This study reveals how the State suspends all legal structures becoming a criminal State, a State that is the enemy of its own society and that only can be exposed by the testimony of literature. As a theoretical framework, this dissertation dialogues with fundamental concepts explored by Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamín, Elias Canetti, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Also, it engages the specific anthropological studies of María Victoria Uribe, Donny Meertens and Pierre Clastres, in order to reveal the cultural symbolism of biopolitical rituals that feed on bodies and death. This reevaluation of “La Violencia” can help contextualize for the waves of violence that have subsequently affected Colombia.