Thursday, April 27, 2023

Comuna 13 (Col): District (comuna) 13

Comuna 13 (Col): District (comuna) 13

This is another one that sometimes gets rendered with the extremely misleading false cognate commune. I wish that everyone held property together in the comunas of Medellin but that is most certainly not the case! You could also use borough for this, but that is such a New York City specific term for large divisions inside a city that I think district is a more global English rendition. You could also keep it as comuna and just add the definition of district the first one or two times it comes up. 

Comuna 13 is particularly known for Operation Orion, carried out in 2002, where the area was occupied by some 3000 paramilitaries working openly with the army. They were ostensibly seeking FARC guerillas and collaborators but many civilians were disappeared that day. The photo here is from the grassroots work to push for and support the work to find and identify their bodies. There are dramatically more disappeared in Colombia than in any other country of the Americas, and the peace accord established a unit to search for them.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

caserío: small rural community vs. small village

I have posted about caserío before, and rendered it as small village. But yesterday I was showing my reconciliation seminar students the Basta Ya video about the war in Colombia as part of our study the outputs of truth commissions (as an aside, this video is from 2013 but frustratingly the recent truth commission has not subtitled any of their videos and the few translations I have found of their texts into English have not been done by translators and are chock full of errors). I noticed that in the video they subtitled caserío as small rural community and I think that is not half bad. Village has almost as many connotations as hamlet, the other option. Community is more vague, but that's not always a bad thing.