Gestión: ambivalence and temporalities of kinship and politics in the Colombian Amazon

Daniela Castellanos*, Cristian Erazo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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In the city of Mocoa in the Colombian Amazon, indigenous leaders capture desired resources for their communities using skilful navigation and engagement in the diverse institutional landscape of this bureaucratic centre of the Putumayo region. Interactions between these leaders and multiple political actors are locally known as gestión. In this article, we explore this ethnographic category by analysing the ways in which gestión interweaves kinship, politics and temporality. Describing gestión in the lives of two cousins, two Inga women who are both experienced leaders, we argue that it entails generating and fostering friendships and alliances by means of kinship networks and practices, which are central to capturing resources and maintaining relationships among ethnic leaders and communities, where mistrust is part of political dynamics and family life. We also show how leaders incorporate the temporalities of gestión into their lives through kinship notions to become powerful political agents in Mocoa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1035
Number of pages22
Issue number5
Early online date2 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • Kinship
  • Politics
  • Time
  • Indigenous leaders
  • Putumayo


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