Reintegrating Ex-Combatants into Civilian Life: The Case of the Paramilitaries in Colombia


Denissen, Marieke. 2010. “Reintegrating Ex-Combatants into Civilian Life: The Case of the Paramilitaries in Colombia.” Peace & Change 35 (2): 328-352.

Author: Marieke Denissen


Since 2003, more than 30,000 combatants of the paramilitary organization United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia have been disarmed and demobilized, and are currently reintegrating into civilian life. As a result of the process, levels of violence in Colombia have dropped significantly. The entity in Colombia responsible for designing and implementing reintegration policies has made progress in several areas since its creation in September 2006. However, there are a number of developments that pose a serious threat to the overall reintegration process, such as the many reports of ex-combatants taking up arms again. For the long-term prospects for peace and social reconstruction, as well as for the constructive involvement of donors willing to invest in the reintegration of ex-combatants into civilian life, it is important to gain insight into the factors that influence the success of reintegration. The factors distinguished in this study are livelihood security, an individual approach to the reintegration of the demobilized, prevention of rearming and new recruitments, involvement of the community, and decentralization of the implementation of reintegration policies.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Men, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2010

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