by David Paulino
The reintegration of the FARC is a very important event for the people, the guerrillas , and Colombia. In November of the year 2016, the FARC and the Colombian government reached a peace agreement; the agreement to end more than 50 years of conflict between the guerrillas and Colombia. Now the difficulty is the reintegration of the guerrillas to society. Colombia is about the challenge of what to do with 6,000 guerrillas and if they must adopt the ideology of the FARC as a political party. It will be interesting to see the reforms that Colombia will implement and where they are going to get the money to support the various programs of reintegration. There is already a reintegration program called the Colombian Agency for Reintegration. I believe that the reintegration of the FARC is the responsibility of the ARC (Colombian Agency for Reintegration), the people, and the guerrillas.
The peace process began in 2010 when President Juan Manuel Santos had secret contacts with a person of the Valle del Cauca Department that served as a connection with a leader of the FARC, Pablo Catatumbo (Colombiapeace.org). During the 6 years there were many attempts to start a dialogue between the FARC and the government, with Cuba being the neutral party. Each time you come to an agreement for a truce, you always have to cancel because a party is thrown to the back, or the FARC attacks police camps or kidnap a civilian. During the 6 years, the party that continued to lose was the civilian population. They lost their family members each time that the truce is canceled, and the conflict continues. Now that the conflict has already been finished is more important to ensure that the former guerrillas are delivered to the reintegration program and the path in which the agency plans for them.
The ACR was created in 2011 but the origins of the program began in 2003 with the PRVC (Program for reinstatement and the Civilian Life) (reintegracion.gov.co). But the PRVC was too short-term and only offered academic, psychosocial assistance, and access to the health system. Later the program was expanded and the Colombian government gave more resources to the program with a reintegration process more complex and with a long-term. To thank the Government of Colombia, the ACR has become an agency that will be the key to help the guerrillas who have been demobilized. From 2003 to 2017, the population who have been demobilized are 58,986 and 50,202 former guerrillas have started the progress of the reintegration of the ACR. And the number of people who are the process, nothing more than 16,732 of them have completed the process of ACR (reintegration.gov.co). It is noted that nothing more than 28.4% of the population that have begun the process have been completed, the reason is complicated because each case is different and difficult, but you should know that the ACR process is long, mid-term is 6 years and 6 months. And the 6 years and 6 months depending upon the person. And before it can begin the process of reintegration they must obtain a certificate that verifies that the person is demobilized. And in order to receive the certificate is a process of 6 months. The difficulty of integration is more with the person with the agency.
People must see how important this event is. Because it is a time for Colombia as a country to begin to heal the 50 years of conflict. And then they will be able to begin to forgive and focus on the future. The family is integral to the culture and is perhaps the reason why many women who were with the FARC are pregnant. More than 60 babies have been born, and it is said that 80 more are still pregnant (npr.org). The future of the family and of the country are important elements which is based on the culture, the sacrifices that parents make is to ensure that children are not living the same life that they lived. The event reflects the prosperity of the future because a generation of Colombian children can live without losing a loved one or perhaps lose their life by the conflict. It is integral that the government continues to support the ACR, and that the guerrillas continue to starting the process and to stay, because the reintegration is the reason because they are going to be able to support their families and to the generation that is on its way.
My name is David Alfredo Paulino. I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a international studies major with a concentration in Global Political Systems and my minors are Anthropology, Latin American Studies, and Asia and the Middle East. I was born in Manhattan, NYC, but I currently live in the Bronx with my Mother, little sister, and Stepfather. Although I was born here, most of my fondest memories come from my frequent visits to the Dominican Republic, and always being there. I even stayed there for a year. Due to my constant going back and forth, I grew to love the atmosphere there and sometimes I yearn for it more than the actual city.