Error message

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 (Read the report). Join the conversation on Twitter with #ColombiaPeaceForum.

The program featured:

  • 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

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

Gender and the Role of Women in Colombia's Peace Process

Gender and the Role of Women in Colombia's Peace Process

Thursday, November 3, 2016

By: Virginia M. Bouvier

The promises and visions articulated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent UN resolutions and position papers that recognize the connection between gender equity and women’s participation in all aspects of peace processes and peacebuilding on the one hand, and international peace and security on the other, have not been fulfilled. Nonetheless, these resolutions have opened the way for advocacy that has had some successes in specific contexts. Colombia offers one su...

Gender; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

Q&A: Colombians Narrowly Reject Peace Deal

Q&A: Colombians Narrowly Reject Peace Deal

Monday, October 3, 2016

By: USIP Staff

Colombian voters yesterday defied projections by pollsters and rejected a peace accord that their government had negotiated during four years of talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP). The agreement was intended to end more than a half century of violent conflict that has left well over 220,000 dead and close to 8 million victims, including more than 6 million people forcibly displaced. USIP’s Senior Advisor for Peace Processes Virginia M. Bouvier explains why voters ...

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes; Democracy & Governance

Colombia’s Peace Accord on the Missing (Spanish)

Colombia’s Peace Accord on the Missing (Spanish)

Friday, September 23, 2016

By: Lisa Haugaard; Virginia M. Bouvier

Las desapariciones forzadas son un legado de medio siglo de conflicto armado interno en Colombia.  Afectan a sectores pobres en el campo y en los centros urbanos, trabajadores, campesinos y campesinas, periodistas, defensores y defensoras de los derechos humanos, políticos de la oposición y lideres y lideresas afro-colombianos e indígenas.  Además, miembros de las fuerzas públicas y de la guerrilla han desaparecido en el contexto del conflicto armado colombiano.  Este informe analiza un acuer...

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

Q&A: Colombia Peace Deal Announced — What’s Next?

Q&A: Colombia Peace Deal Announced — What’s Next?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

By: Fred Strasser

After 52 years of armed conflict, the Colombian government and the country’s oldest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), announced a final agreement last night aimed at ending one of the world’s longest-lasting insurgencies. The U.S. Institute of Peace’s Virginia M. “Ginny” Bouvier, who has studied the peace process from the outset and advised Colombian government officials, civil society and others promoting a political solution to the conflict, comments on the ...

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

View All Publications