Territory as a Victim of Armed Conflict

21 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2021

See all articles by Alexandra Valeria Huneeus

Alexandra Valeria Huneeus

University of Wisconsin Law School

Pablo Rueda-Saiz

University of Miami School of Law

Date Written: September 30, 2021


Colombia’s peace jurisdiction has formally accredited the territories of indigenous and Black communities as victims of the armed conflict. But what does it mean for a territory to be treated not as the stage on which a conflict unfolds, but as its victim? The concept of territory-as-victim seeks to give a legal expression to the notion that it is not just human lives that are upended by armed conflict, but also relations with non-humans, including ‘earth beings’ such as rivers and mountains, and the spiritual world. Further, it is a tool through which indigenous peoples and Black Colombians gain greater control over their land. Transitional justice scholars and practitioners are just beginning to consider what the push to recognize non-humans in law could mean for a field that has its origins in the human rights movement. This article contributes to the debate, showing how Colombia’s peace process is transforming territory from an object to a legal subject that suffers harm and is in need of repair.

Keywords: Afro-Colombian, Colombian peace, indigenous peoples, Jurisdiccio ́n Especial para la Paz, rights of nature, territory, transitional justice

Suggested Citation

Huneeus, Alexandra Valeria and Rueda-Saiz, Pablo, Territory as a Victim of Armed Conflict (September 30, 2021). Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1720, 15 Int'l J. Transitional Just. 210 (2021), University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3933835, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3933835

Alexandra Valeria Huneeus (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Pablo Rueda-Saiz

University of Miami School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States

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