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2016-08_dc

D+C  e-Paper  August 2016 29 The success of Colombia’s peace talks will depend substantially on how the state chooses to address the needs of the 8 million people who were affected or dis- placed by the civil war. Researcher make proposals on how victim groups, municipal administrations and members of the business community can cooperate to develop local strategies in support of victims’ efforts to rebuild their lives. By Gregor Maaß and Mario Pilz What is the best way to help the victims of Colombia’s civil war to reintegrate into rural communities’ social and economic life? In the Caldas region in central Colombia, a research team has looked for answers, and the scholars from Berlin’s Humboldt University and the Colombian Autono- mous University of Manizales (UAM) have came up with some proposals. They suggest: ■ ■ strengthening local markets, ■ ■ providing psychosocial support for victims and ■ ■ improving coordination between farmers’ associa- tions and groups of victims. The study was commissioned by GIZ in cooperation with the regional government. The approach proposed by the scholars can also prove useful in other parts of Colombia. Communities across the country will face the question of how to support victims’ reintegration into normal life. As one-size-fits-all policies normally do not suc- ceed, attention must focus both on the specific eco- nomic potential of every region as well as to the spe- cific circumstances of the people who were affected by war and displacement. Dialogue between local governments, business leaders and victim groups is indispensable. For many years, this understanding has guided the efforts of GIZ’s CERCAPAZ programme, which Returning to everyday life The victims of civil war are mostly smallholders. Harrison/Lineair colombia Bogotá

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