Territories and borders: processes of appropriating symbolic and geographical space in the indigenous communities of Pampa del Indio, Chaco

posted on 28.11.2018 by Malena Inés Castilla

Abstract This article describes the meanings of borders as social formations with a certain historicity, in which they concentrate practices, speeches and actions that give meaning to the model of social regulation that is seen in the present time on the basis of that historicity. The geophysical and symbolic borders that were formed during the installation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and consolidated in the current territory of the Argentine Republic are analyzed. Along these lines are described throughout this article the relationship that was conceived around these borders between the country's indigenous communities and the colonial representatives, the different state officials (from 1880 to the present), and the policies implemented by national agencies. In the final section the current public policies that are implemented in Pampa del Indio in the Chaco province are described. The article discusses how these policies generate territorialities that are marked by an asymmetry in power relations, and describes the ways in which physical and symbolic violence has been used and continues to be used against indigenous peoples by considering how borders have historically been constituted with this ethnic population.