Community-based Security Measures and Territory: Methodological Notes from an Integral Defense Perspective
Type: Guides and Manuals
The material in the following pages is the result of several years of ProDESC’s work (ProDESC is the acronym in Spanish for the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project). Throughout our trajectory in the defense of human rights, and in particular in defense of land, territory and natural resources, we have observed and thought carefully about the realities and challenges faced by community defenders in their everyday tasks. We have thus advocated for the construction of considerations, pedagogies, and organizing forms that supports collectives and communities in the construction of their own options in defense of their rights. Within this framework, community security has become a core aspect of our methodologies of organizing supports in search of favoring the construction of conditions to demand and exercise human rights.
The methodological guide which follows is the result of these thoughts. It was made possible thanks to long hours of experience-sharing between different civic and social organizations, representatives of agrarian and indigenous communities, women and men community defenders, who met in 2017 and 2018 to debate community security strategies in Latin America.
During these meetings, we constructed collective reflections about the structural violence we currently face, as well as different coercion and control mechanisms resulting from socio–political violence in Latin America aimed at the dispossession of natural resources and territories.
This guide attempts to be a window through which to think about community security, geared to not only community defenders, collectives, and communities working for the defense of land and territory, but also any person who resists and struggles to demand justice, transform his/her reality, and reconstruct the social fabric through his/her own reflections and practices.