The Rapprochement Between Campesinos And Ex-combatants

As part of its commitment, the ERA of Miranda promoted the rapprochement of actors who were conceived as like-minded from the beginning, but it also integrated other stakeholders who had antagonistic relationships. This space even gathered people who clung to feelings of pain and resentment, caused by the experiences lived during the most intense years of the armed conflict. However, the definition of shared objectives and the commitment to achieve them through daily discipline, encouraged a change of perspective about the other among participants, thus enabling processes of reconciliation, dialogue, and joint work in new areas for peacebuilding.  

On the other hand, for campesinos in ASPROZONAC, the arrival of PASO Colombia and the development of the ERA opened up a concrete chance to settle definitively in La Elvira and entertain a real possibility of living from agriculture. This happened because, once the received the land they had fought for, faced with the lack of technical assistance and technological tools (included in the guarantees negotiated with the state), they came to think that it would not be possible to transform a land exhausted by sugarcane production into a space for family agriculture. Today, the 25 campesino families have been able to establish their productive lives based on land improvement. To do this, they have relied on their individual empirical knowledge, in trainings developed in the ERA, and in the resources, infrastructure, and institutional support that has been expanding along its development.

In hindsight, we can affirm that having a portion of land where they were well received for the development of the ERA experience, became a key factor in proposing a project to support the reincorporation of ex-combatants. Likewise, the farm La Elvira served as a device of territorial anchorage required by ex-combatants to replace those years of itinerancy –even if, during their lives in the guerrilla, this itineracy was circumscribed to the same territory– with an individual and collective appropriation of a specific space.

These are some of the testimonies from campesinos and ex-combatants, that underscore the integration process and the transformation of relations encouraged by the ERA of Miranda.