Reintegrating former guerrilla members has been in the top of the “to do list” for the Colombian government since 2002 when President Uribe cracked down guerrilla organizations, thus in an effort for a reconciliation and to set up clear and fair rules of law to offset uncertainties among the population, a Program for Reincorporation to the Civil Life (PRVC, for its acronym in Spanish) was created and focused on demobilized people through psychosocial care, academic training and access to the national health system. It was a short – term program because the population to reintegrate into society was relatively small in the first years.
With the massive demobilization of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia-AUC (right-wing paramilitary groups) between 2003 and 2006, the PRVC was transformed into the High Presidential Council for Reintegration to address the need of reintegration as a sustainable long – term program.
With President Santos, reintegration is taken into a new level and in 2011, the Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR) is formally created operating on an annual budget of about $56 million, 93 percent of which comes in the form of government funding.
From 2014 – 2015, the ACR reports 26,712 demobilized people undergoing a reintegration process, all of them were part of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), National Liberation Army (ELN), People’s Liberation Army (EPL) and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) guerrilla groups.
Now that the Colombian government-FARC peace-talks are apparently in the last stage, the ACR prepares for the upcoming challenges in 2015:
- Reduce the stigma of Colombian society towards the demobilized population.
- To achieve legal stability for the demobilized people and the reintegration process.
- To deepen into the regionalization of reintegration process.
- To innovate in actions that constitutes the reintegration process.
Want to know more? Check out the First Global Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) Summit , 2014