Peace negotiators seeking to end Colombia’s five-decade-long conflict are beginning to tackle the final issues, including how to reintegrate former insurgents into civilian life. On January 29th, the U.S. Institute of Peace held a discussion of this vexing question with experts including a former negotiator at the peace talks in Havana.

Columbia Peace Forum

As the parties in the talks prepare for their 32nd round of negotiations in early February, the key remaining issues to be resolved focus on establishing processes that ensure victims of the war will be able to secure their rights to truth, justice, reparations, and guarantees that violations won’t be repeated. Another challenge regards negotiating how former combatants and their associates will make the transition back to civilian life, a process known as demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration (DDR).

Two panels at this Colombia Peace Forum on Paths to Reintegration analyzed the successes and pitfalls of DDR processes from around the world, lessons from Colombia’s past reintegration efforts, and policy recommendations in a new report from the International Crisis Group. Continue the conversation on Twitter with #ColombiaPeaceForum.

Speakers

Virginia M. Bouvier
Senior Advisor for Latin American Programs, United States Institute of Peace

Alejandro Eder
Former High Commissioner for Reintegration
Former Alternative Plenipotentiary at the Havana Peace Talks

Mark Schneider
Senior Vice President and Special Adviser on Latin America, International Crisis Group

Kathleen Kerr
Deputy Chief of Mission-Colombia, International Organization for Migration

Sandra Pabón
Reintegration and Prevention of Recruitment Team Lead, Office of Vulnerable Populations, U.S. Agency for International Development-Colombia

Michael Duttwiller
Legal Analyst, Transitional Justice Unit, Mission to Support the Peace Process, Organization of American States

Kimberly Theidon
Senior Fellow, Latin America Program,  Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Adam Isacson
Senior Associate for Regional Security Policy, Washington Office on Latin America

Agenda

2:00 | Welcome and Introductions        

  • George Lopez, VP, Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, USIP
  • Ginny Bouvier, Senior Advisor for Latin America, USIP

2:15-3:15 | Panel I: Lessons from Colombia: What Has Worked and What Has Not?

  • Experiences of Reintegration from the Office of the High Commissioner for Reintegration
    Alejandro Eder, former High Commissioner for Reintegration
  • Lessons Learned from the AUC Demobilizations
    Sandra Pabón, Team Lead for Reintegration and Prevention of Recruitment, Office of Vulnerable Populations, U.S. Agency for International Development-Colombia, and Kathleen Kerr, Deputy Chief of Mission-Colombia, International Organization for Migration
  • Reintegration in Urabá: Role of the Evangelical Churches
    Kimberly Theidon, Senior Fellow, Latin America Program, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
  • Challenges to Demobilization and Transitional Justice: Lessons from the Organization of American States’s Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP-OAS)
    Michael Duttwiler, Legal Analyst, Transitional Justice Unit, MAPP-OAS

Break 3:15-3:30

3:30-4:30 | Panel II: Policy Recommendations for a Forward-Looking Reintegration Process

  • “Ending the Conflict in Colombia: The New ICG Report,” Mark Schneider, Senior Vice President and Special Advisor on Latin America, International Crisis Group
  • Commentators:
    • Adam Isacson, Senior Associate for Regional Security Policy, Washington Office on Latin America
    • Ginny Bouvier, Senior Advisor on Latin America Programs, USIP

Related Publications

Steve Hege on Colombia’s Election

Steve Hege on Colombia’s Election

Thursday, June 21, 2018

By: Steve Hege

Following a peaceful run-off election in Colombia, Steve Hege shares his analysis on the victory of right-wing candidate Ivan Duque over leftist Gustavo Petro. At the top of Duque’s agenda, according to Hege, will be amending the peace accord with the FARC, resuming more aggressive drug eradication programs, increasing security, and strengthening the U.S.-Colombia relationship.   

Episode 54 - Lili Cole and Diego Benitez

Episode 54 - Lili Cole and Diego Benitez

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

By:

Our guests on today's episode are Diego Benitez, a Program Officer at USIP's Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research, and Lili Cole, an expert on reconciliation process and practice. We will be discussing a USIP project called IMPACT Colombia, which combines support for reconciliation projects in Colombia with USIP's own brand of monitoring and evaluation.

Reconciliation

Will Colombia's 2018 Elections Imperil Peace?

Will Colombia's 2018 Elections Imperil Peace?

Friday, April 13, 2018

By: Steve Hege

The April 9 arrest and extradition request of former senior Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) commander and peace negotiator Jesús Santrich highlights the complex challenges Colombia faces in the implementation of the historic November 2016 peace agreement with the FARC. Over a year and a half since the signing of the agreement, Colombia finds itself in one of the most critical moments in its efforts to definitively put to rest over five decades of armed conflict that has left more than 8.5 million victims in its wake. Frustrations surrounding the mixed results in the implementation of the peace agreement are exacerbated by the natural uncertainty over the upcoming May 27 presidential elections and its policy impact.

Electoral Violence; Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Peace Processes

Steve Hege on Colombia’s Progress Towards Peace

Steve Hege on Colombia’s Progress Towards Peace

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

By: Steve Hege

Leaders from the Western Hemisphere absent Venezuela’s President Maduro will gather for the 8th Summit of the America’s in Peru later this week. Vice President Pence following the summit will travel on to Colombia. Steve Hege explains a range of issues involving Colombia from U.S. bilateral relations, upcoming elections, peace plan implementation and reforms, and the strains on public infrastructure and services as a result of an exodus of Venezuelan refugees.

View All Publications