Demobilisation of Female Ex-Combatants in Colombia


Schwitalla, Gunhild, and Luisa Maria Dietrich. 2007. “Demobilisation of Female Ex-Combatants in Colombia.” Forced Migration Review 7: 58-59.

Authors: Gunhild Schwitalla, Luisa Maria Dietrich


For several decades Colombia has been fought over by legal and illegal armed actors – the Colombian armed forces, right-wing paramilitaries and left-wing guerrillas. Negotiations between the Colombian government and the right-wing Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – a federation of right-wing paramilitary groups – resulted in July 2005 in congressional approval of the Justice and Peace Law. A cornerstone of President Álvaro Uribe’s policies, it offers rank-and-file combatants a comprehensive reintegration package. Leaders alleged to have committed serious crimes are expected to stand trial at special courts, with the promise of receiving drastically reduced sentences in exchange for full disclosure of their crimes. Colombia’s disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process has involved both ‘collective’ demobilisation – the result of official negotiations with paramilitary groups – and ‘individual’ demobilisation whereby men, women and children voluntarily return to civilian life. It is estimated that nearly 41,000 men, women and children have been demobilised – some 31,000 ‘collectively’ (6% of whom are female). A further ten thousand are thought to have done so under the individual demobilisation scheme (of whom 14% are women). Girls comprise about a quarter of demobilised children.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Men, Girls, Boys, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Paramilitaries, Non-state armed groups, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2007

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