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Historical Overview


The Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN), formerly the Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR), was created on November 3, 2011 as a Special Administrative Unit – under the Administrative Department of the Presidency of the Republic (DAPRE) - responsible for strengthening the implementation of the Reintegration Policy.

The origins of the Agency date back to the Program for the Reincorporation of Civil Life (PRVC) that worked in the Ministry of Interior and Justice between 2003 and 2006.

The PRVC was characterized by psychosocial care, services and benefits for demobilized people. It was a short-term reintegration program. At first, this characteristic did not represent a problem, because the demobilized population was relatively small. However, when the rate of collective and individual demobilizations grew, the PRVC became congested and faced administrative, conceptual and operational difficulties.

The High Presidential Counseling for Reintegration was created in September 2006 to respond to the demands of the demobilization process in Colombia - particularly the increase in people who entered with the massive demobilization of the AUC and the need to understand Reintegration as a long-term sustainable program.

The creation of the High Presidential Council for Reintegration was a milestone in the history of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) in Colombia; It went from being a program of Reincorporation (short term) to a Reintegration Process (long term), with greater capacity for coverage and management, and with better tools and capacity to support the demobilized.

Even, the implementation of the Colombian DDR stands out for its development while the conflict persists, as it shelters two types of demobilizations: the collective ones, the result of the peace agreements, and the individual ones, which are based more on a personal decision. Additionally, unlike other countries, Colombia assumes all institutional responsibility for the Reintegration process.

During its five years of existence, the High Council focused on making the Reintegration become a state policy. Thus, the government sought to provide opportunities for demobilized people through a personalized Reintegration Route with benefits of psychosocial, educational, economic and income generation opportunities, in order to allow the demobilized to find a sustainable life in civility. 

The High Council not only sought to implement strategies focused on the participants in the Reintegration Process, but also in the families and communities that receive them, under the conception that sustainability of the Reintegration with life in legality implies working not only with individuals demobilized, but also with their surroundings.

In September 2010, then President Juan Manuel Santos, appointed Alejandro Eder Garcés, as High Counselor for Reintegration, replacing Frank Pearl, who was the first to hold that position, when it was created by the government of Álvaro Uribe Vélez.

In addition to focusing on compliance with the National Reintegration Policy, its responsibilities included coordinating the Reintegration Process with the national agencies and disseminate it nationally and internationally. Subsequently, on November 3, 2011, the High Council became the Colombian Agency for Reintegration, in accordance with Decree 4138, and senior advisor Alejandro Eder Garcés was appointed as General Director.

With the issuance of Decree 4138 of 2011, the Agency becomes a Special Administrative Unit with legal status, attached to the Administrative Department of the Presidency of the Republic (DAPRE).The institutional change from a High Council to a State Agency meant an advance to guarantee the continuity and strengthening of the Reintegration policy, since the Agency has greater administrative, financial and budgetary autonomy, and a solid organizational structure.

Based on the provisions of the Final Agreement for the termination of the conflict and the construction of a stable and lasting peace, signed on November 24, 2016 at Teatro Colón between the National Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -FARC-, under the direction of Joshua Mitrotti Ventura, the Colombian Agency for the Reintegration of People and Groups Raised in Arms -ACR- had to modify its functions and structure in order to respond to the new normative mandates and the processes of social and economic reintegration of the members of the armed group.

In accordance with these new challenges, Decree Law 897 of May 29, 2017 had the Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR) renamed as Agency for Reintegration and Normalization (ARN), and aims to "manage, implement, coordinate and evaluate the policy, plans, programs and projects of reincorporation and Normalization of the members of the FARC-EP, in an coordinated manner with the competent instances, in accordance with the Final Agreement, as signed between the National Government and the FARC-EP on November 24, 2016 through the Technical Unit for the Reincorporation of the FARC-EP; and the policy of reintegration of people and groups in arms in order to promote peace, security and coexistence".

In this new context – and to guarantee the necessary inter-institutional synergy for the achievement of the challenges in the Reincorporation process – the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN) led the formulation of the National Policy for the Social and Economic Reincorporation of former members of the FARC-EP, whose guidelines are included in Conpes 3931 approved June 2018.

Thus, the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN) is leading today the implementation of reintegration and reincorporation policies contributing to coexistence, the culture of legality and reconciliation.


REINTEGRATION MILESTONES

2003 - 2006

Program for the Return to Civilian Life (PRVC)

Creation and development of the Program for the Reincorporation of Civilian Life (PRVC) by the Ministry of Interior and Justice. The main purpose of the program is to provide attention – initially – to the individual demobilizations and subsequently the collective demobilization, generating differential attention mechanisms.

2006

The Presidential High Council for Reintegration is created

The new demands of the demobilization process in Colombia, lead to the need to promote a policy of reintegration into civil life of greater scope and long term. This gives rise to the High Presidential Council for Reintegration, in September 2006.

 

2007

Beginning of the Community Reintegration Model

The High Council for reintegration begins the implementation of the Community Reintegration Model, with the aim of promoting actions for the consolidation of local scenarios of participation, coexistence and reconciliation between people in the process of reintegration and their host communities.

 

2008

Issuance of the National Social and Economic Reintegration Policy for illegal armed persons and groups.

The National Council of Economic and Social Policy (CONPES) issues CONPES Document No. 3554, which gives the status of State Policy to the Reintegration Process in Colombia.

 

Formation of the National Care Network

A National Care Network is formed, consisting of 40 care centers throughout the country to manage and implement the Reintegration Policy in each department, municipality and community where there is a population of people reincorporated to civilian life.

 

2010

Psychosocial Care for Peace Approach

The High Counselor's Office changes the focus of short-term care, to consolidate a process of comprehensive care for the demobilized. Thus, the Model of Psychosocial Care for Peace (Mapaz) is designed and implemented, with which it is sought to grant access of the population in the process of reintegration, their families and receiving communities, to education, health, labor market and psychosocial care.

 

2011

Creation of the Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR)

The Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR ) was born on November 3, 2011. The ACR is created as a Special Administrative Unit, attached to the Administrative Department of the Presidency of the Republic. The institutional transformation of the Agency strengthens and develops the Reintegration Policy in Colombia.

 

Formation of Territorial Groups and Attention Centers

The new structure of the ACR strengthens effective work in the territory with the coordinated presence of local offices called Territorial Groups and Attention Centers.

The "Mambrú no va a la guerra" Strategy is born

The first phase of the project "Mambrú NO va a la guerra, este es otro cuento" – "Mambru is NOT going to war – this is a different story" (name based on a lullaby about a character going to war), a strategy designed to mitigate the causal factors of the recruitment and use of children and adolescents by illegal armed groups.

 

2012

Regional Appropriation of the Social and Economic Reintegration Policy

A national strategy is implemented for the inclusion of the Policy in the development plans of departments and municipalities, in which the largest number of people in the process of reintegration are concentrated. The achievement: 28 Governments and 119 municipalities set specific goals and secured resources to support the process in the 2012-2016 period.

 

First people to complete the Reintegration process

The first participant in the Process concludes his Reintegration Route. By the end of the year, a total of 812 demobilized people had successfully completed their Reintegration Process.

 

2013

Adoption of the Multidimensional Attention Model

The Reintegration Route Work Plan is regulated through Resolution 0754 of 2013, under an approach that is characterized by having a more humane understanding of the demobilized individual, seen from multiple aspects (dimensions) according to the contexts and country reality.

 

2014

Definition of Economic Insertion Benefits

ARN issues the Resolution whereby the Economic Insertion Benefits are defined and regulated for people in the process of special reintegration of Justice and Peace.

 

Educational Model for Reintegration

The Educational Model of reintegration training is implemented. This model is born in response to the need to create a flexible educational model that will adapt to the needs and conditions of this population and brings together the education and training processes for the work of the adult population.

 

2016

Creation of the National Council for Reincorporation

Through Decree No. 2027 of December 7, 2016, in compliance with the provisions of the Final Agreement for the Termination of Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Lasting Peace, the National Reincorporation Council (CNR) is created with the objective of defining the activities, establishing the schedule and advancing follow-up to the process of reincorporation to civilian life of the members of FARC.

 

Definition of the Stabilization Phase in the Reintegration Route

The stabilization phase in the Reintegration Route is defined, understanding the importance of care in the first months of the reintegration process, for the sake of its sustainability.

 

2017

Creation of the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN)

The Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR) is now called the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN); its structure and functions are modified to lead the process of reincorporation of former FARC –EP members.

 

Beginning of Early Reincorporation

ARN is linked to the dynamics of the Territorial Spaces for Training and Reincorporation (ETCR) and the Early Reintegration process in coordination with national, territorial, and international cooperation agencies.

 

2018

Creation of the Technical Unit for Reincorporation (UTR)

The Technical Unit for the Reintegration and Normalization is created, as an internal working group dedicated to advancing the reincorporation program of former FARC-EP members.

Adoption of the National Policy for the Social and Economic Reincorporation of former members of the FARC-EP

The National Policy for the Social and Economic Reincorporation of former members of FARC-EP is approved by the National Council of Economic and Social Policy and CONPES Document No. 3931 and its follow-up action plan (PAS) is published for the 2018-2026 period.