How Columbia has been turning ex-guerillas into useful members of society

 
The bloody civil war that has gripped Colombia for over fifty years has claimed 220,000 victims, affecting 6.7 million people in all—most of them civilians. In 2003 president Álvaro Uribe entered peace negotiations with the country’s largest paramilitary group. The Colombian Agency for Reintegration was created that same year to help former fighters return to civilian life, providing them with a safe place to live, a monthly stipend and job training. Since 2003 57,082 combatants have demobilized, 84 percent of whom decided to take part in the reintegration process. A formal end to the country’s civil war now hinges on the government’s peace negotiations with the FARC. It would mean demobilizing up to 32,000 former guerrillas, the biggest challenge to date for the reintegration agency. Here is a gripping account of the reintegration process at work, with the opportunities and challenges faced by participants.
 

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