Tom MacManus and Tony Ward

Peace Community of San José de Apartadó is a self-governing community of peasant farmers in Urabá, one of the regions of Colombia where violence by the state, leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries has been most intense. It is based on a rejection of all violence and on autonomy from, and neutrality between, the state, paramilitaries and guerrillas.

Drawing on interviews with community members by the first author, this paper considers how far the Peace Community has succeeded in establishing a radical alternative to the state legal and penal systems in pursuit of what could be called a ‘real utopia’ (Wright 2010).

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Tom MacManus, Tony Ward