Life after fire: Collective agricultural production for reincorporation communities in the Colombian post-conflict

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master's Thesis
Architecture and planning beyond sustainability (MPDSD), MSc
Estrada D'amato, Laura
For many decades, Colombia was only perceived by the international community as a dangerous country, facing a cold-blooded war between the state and insurgent groups. With the signature of the Peace Agreement in Havana this image started to shift toward an example of transformation. This negotiation was only the beginning of a complex process that has demanded tremendous efforts from every sector of the society. Today, it is still relevant to re-evaluate what does it take to actually build a long-lasting peace: To repair a broken society after war it is necessary to go beyond cease fire, it is required to holistically understand the reasons that provoked the conflict in the first place, and create conditions to avoid these circumstances to repeat. In Colombia, social inequities and unequal access to land or work opportunities where some of the main reasons that burst the armed conflict. Hence, they are now central points on the peace-building agenda and the focal point to this dissertation. This thesis aimed to contribute to peace from the development of productive infrastructure to ensure economic stability to the demobilized ex-FARC community in Dabeiba, who had been developing collective production initiatives as part of their reincorporation plan. This “peace signers” have established in two separate settlements: one for housing (Llano Grande) and one for productive activities (Taparales), this segregation of uses, represents a mayor logistic complication for the development of their economic activity and consequently, a threat to the peace process, since it is hard to ensure dignified living conditions for the former actors of the conflict. The project is grounded on the historical background of the conflict in Colombia and the peace agreement implementation in Dabeiba and transcends to an empirical, collective knowledge-building through field studies to better understand the site singularities and analyse implicated stakeholders in terms of interests, possibilities and limitations. This research led to the proposal of a development plan for the production infrastructure in Taparales, oriented to improve working conditions for “agroprogreso” association members, increase production quality and efficiency and, ultimately built resilience in the farm by diversifying the income sources and the sustainable use of ecosystem services.
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