El Salado Massacre as a Paradigm of Paramilitary Sovereign Violence [Spanish]
On February 18, 2000, a group of 450 soldiers of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) arrived at El Salado (a township in Carmen de Bolívar). Although the massacre lasted for several days (from February 16 to 21), and left 61 dead, on February 18, it can be said that El Salado lived in a real theater of the atrocious. The main mini soccer field was a stage, and the public, the local population, was forced to witness an orgy of enjoyment and excess. The numbers and scenes were characterized by variety: impaled youths, hangings, old men beaten to death, dismemberment, stabbings, suffocation with plastic bags, rapes. The following article, using El Salado as an example, will try to characterize this version of sovereignty —this paralyzing power, with claims of totality, that rages on defenseless and vulnerable bodies, a power of a private nature. Two questions Will guide this research: what is the mechanics or technology that makes this asymmetric and absolute relationship of bodies possible?, and, why this specific mode of sovereign power, not satisfied with annihilation, seeks to dramatically represent this relationship of domination? Faced with the first question, this paper proposes to view excess as part of plans, territorial strategies, and military training. It wants to bring an alternative to the perspective that speaks of excess as an outburst of madness or as the unrepresentable. Regarding the second question, it will try to review the conditions of the sovereign theater, and its striking way of manifesting itself in massacres of this kind.
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