Paola García Reyes (PhD, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, México) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Law and Political Science at the Universidad del Norte de Colombia. She holds a Master's degree in Political Studies from the Institute of Political Studies and International Relations of the National University of Colombia (2008) and a Master’s degree in Applied Statistics from Universidad del Norte de Colombia (2020). She is an Anthropologist from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2001). She is principal researcher for the Observatory of Restitution and Regulation of Agrarian Property Rights and UN Caribbean at the Universidad del Norte.
2020 (with Wiig, H.). “Reasons of gender. Gender, household composition and land restitution process”. En Colombian Journal of Rural Studies, 75, 89–97.
2020 (with Wiig, H.). “Bread or justice - Land restitution and investments in Montes de Maria, Colombia.” En Land Use Policy, 91.
2018 (with Wiig, H.). “Políticas sin género. De intenciones y realidades en la política de restitución de tierras en Colombia.” En F. Gutiérrez Sanín, R. del P. Peña Huertas, & M. M. Parada Hernández (Eds.), La tierra prometida. Balance de la política de restitución de tierras en Colombia (235–308). Bogotá: Universidad del Rosario.
2018 (with Marín Jaramillo, M.y Macuha Pérez, D.). “Percepción institucional de la restitución en los Montes de María”. En F. Gutiérrez Sanín, R. del P. Peña Huertas, & M. M. Parada Hernández (Eds.), La tierra prometida. Balance de la política de restitución de tierras en Colombia (309–337). Bogotá: Universidad del Rosario.
2018 (with Vargas, J. y Kaffure, S. U.). “Estado, poder y dominio. Una lectura a propósito de sus mecanismos.” En Perfiles Latinoamericanos, 51, 191-214.
Title: Ignorance of wealth: the cognitive mechanisms of inequality
Abstract: Colombia has had two agrarian reforms that have not been successful. Over the years, the armed conflict and accompanying displacements ended up fostering the accumulation of wealth by unarmed actors, realized under the framework of those same regulatory reforms. However, the cognitive mechanisms behind these accumulations have – as of yet – not been studied. A particular case in this regard is that of the mass purchase of land by foreign businesspersons in the Montes de María region of Colombia. In this research project, I seek to evaluate the general proposition that the accumulation of land by these entrepreneurs was not an explicitly dispossessing one in its intentions, although it was in its effects. Instead, I postulate that such accumulation is a result of a blind action towards the other, in this case the peasant farmer, which is typical of the powerful: the businesspersons did not know the situation of the peasant; they ignored it. In order to build this proposal, three theoretical approaches are combined: the institutional reading of land ownership and the construction of the State (Boone 2003), the understanding of structural violence and interpretative labor (Graeber 2015) and the idea of white ignorance (Mills, 2007, 2015). To develop this, I propose to rely on the study of cultural models, in particular Roy D'Andrade's proposal based on cognitive anthropology (Bennardo & de Munck, 2014; D'Andrade, 2005). Thus, the study pursues a double objective. Firstly, it evaluates the ignorance of the powerful, based on a specific methodological approach that can be replicated in other analyses. Secondly, it contributes to the reflection of specific mechanisms, in this case cognitive ones that contribute to the perpetuation of undesirable distributions.