This is an analysis of two moments in the Colombian history within a century of difference, where isolation, accumulation and violence interact in a region brought into the worlds’ imaginary by the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez in One Hundred years of Solitude. A valley between four natural borderlines: the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, the Perijá hills, the Central and East ‘Cordilleras’ -mountain range- and the Magdalena River in the departments of Cesar and Magdalena (Colombia) part of what was called the department of ‘Magdalena Grande’ was blessed – or perhaps coursed – with wealth in natural resources; plenty of water streams, a unique biodiversity, cultural affluence and immense reserves of one of the purest steam coals. This paper attempts to draw a picture of the superimposed and persistent power structures that apparently facilitate the accumulative processes and imbalances within one century of difference, making use of violence as means to maintain equilibrium. Environment is changed trough politicized violent inflictions over society and nature. The resultant scars are the ones inflicted on a collective memory, as this valley is and will always be recalled by the poetic truth of the narrative of Gabriel García Marquez who recreated this mythic environment as ‘Macondo’. He remembers his own story of early childhood that here serves as an excuse to analyze a region that is again being bled by accumulation.

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Erasmus University Rotterdam
ISS Working Papers - General Series
ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Bedoya Arias, M.E. (2013). One hundred years of solitude, accumulation and violence: A comparative historical analysis of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta Valley (No. 553). ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 553, pp. 1–59). Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from