Friday, November 5, 2010

UN Program for Disarming Civilians and Communitarian Reintegration

Found this Masters' Thesis late last night

A Thesis
Submitted to the Graduate School
of the University of Notre Dame
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of
Master of Arts
Jimena Holguin

John Paul Lederach, Director
Graduate Program in Peace Studies
Notre Dame, Indiana
April 2010

and read as much of it as I could before I went to bed. It explores the UN's reintegration process for "illegal" combatants in conflict areas, focusing on case studies from Africa and South America. Chapter Five explores the COMMUNITARIAN COMPONENT OF THE REINTEGRATION PROCESS IN COLOMBIA.

The COMMUNITARIAN component of the process "seeks to create conducive spaces for communication between host communities and former combatants." And yes, the American taxpayers are helping to pay for this UN COMMUNITARIAN project:
In the fiscal year 2007 - 2008, the national budget allocated for the DDR process was $US 37 million. In addition, the government of the United States allocated $US 53 million for technical assistance for the DDR process between 2006– 2009. The European Union is also one of the main donors for the reintegration process. See: High Commissioner for the social and economic reintegration of ex-combatants of the illegal armed groups. Accessed September, 2009; and USAID Colombia: Accessed September, 2009.
The process consists of several phases and the 2nd phase most closely resembles what Americans and the rest of the unconquered world are experiencing:
The second phase is devoted to the workshops with the community, as well as with the demobilized people, in issues related with human rights, democratic participation, conflict resolution, democracy procedures and designing, implementing and fund raising for communitarian projects. This phase takes place within the months 3 and 7 of the project. After the workshops were over, within the months 8 and 12, the community must agree on a project that the members of the community are supposed to design and implement. Finally, at the end of the project it is expected that the beneficiaries of the project develop symbolic actions. These actions are intended to present to the community the results of the project making emphasis in the outcomes of the reconciliation process187.
In Colombia it's called a COMMUNITARIAN INTERVENTION SCHEME (on page 75). And like ALL communitarian strategies that promote Participatory Democracy,
One of the strongest points of the strategies is the idea of strengthen the democratic procedures and to create spaces for dialogue as the main spaces to debate and discuss the conflicts in the community. However, this point that remains open for the different operators of the projects to develop. That means that there are no guidelines for the projects to design and implement this strategy of promotion of democracy.
And again, there is no indication any of the communitarian strategies will work:
Moreover, one of the points that is important to highlight is that although the main goal of the public policy is to promote the reconciliation and the coexistence between the victims and the former combatants, there is not a clear linkage between the two of them. By following the strategies it seems that the communitarian component would be devoted exclusively to achieve a political reintegration of the former combatants, but there is not a sign of how the community would benefit from these projects and how the projects would contribute to the development of the community. 189
One religious side of Communitarian Reintegration is clear:
The Foundation for Reconciliation, led by the Catholic Priest Leonel Narvaez,
Other religious sides are not that clear:
The United Nations University for Peace accompanied and supported the process of designing the projects, the training process of leaders at the communitarian level.
And like UN programs in the U.S. and the UK,
The centers of reconciliation aim to train and provide the society with the peace tools that the community needs for the coexistence and reconciliation. Those tools are based on the concepts of transitional justice, retribution and historical memory, which would contribute to truth and justice through different narratives193. In addition, the project aims to create activities to exploit creativity through arts, prevention of domestic violence and a space in which people can get support and assistance in conflict resolution194.
And in the end it's always about getting people to expose what happened to them and using their exposed feelings to manipulate the community into adopting a more UN style democracy:
Finally, the project aims to promote the tracking, evaluation and research of the information related with peace initiatives and process that take place at the grassroots level of the communities195
Led by professional change agents, in exactly the same way comprehensive land use planning is accomplished in the United States,
This strategy/method is implemented by the team of professionals in each reconciliation center through different activities as workshops, smalls groups in which people socialize and create narratives about rage, hater and revenge. The idea is that these groups operate as a sort of counseling discussion groups in which people get support and advice from the other members of the group.
And again, in case you're wondering how people are taught to "change" the way they feel and think,
one of the main activities promoted by the reconciliation centers is counseling.
So, what is the COMMUNITARIAN hierarchy in Colombia?
The project in Bogotá is a long term project that not only functions with resources coming from the ACR, but also with funding from international agencies, which is an advantage because it has remained in the long term. By April 2009, the project had had functioned for nineteen months (seven more than the established by the ACR). In addition, the project is a Catholic base activity which is an advantage in the sense that the Catholic Church has a privilege position in Colombia in terms of conflict transformation and conflict resolution.

By taking Lederach´s proposal about thinking “leadership in the population affected by a conflict in terms of a pyramid”197. In the top of the pyramid there is the “Top Leadership” which includes the political, military, international organizations and religious leaders who are focused on high level negotiations. In the middle level one can find leaders “who are highly respected as individuals and/or occupy formal positions of leadership in sectors such as education, business, agriculture or health”198. In this level we can also place ethnic, religious, academics and humanitarian leaders. At the middle level, the work is focused on problem solving workshops and trainings in conflict resolution. The importance of these leaders depends not on the power or influence, but in the relationships and the capability of connect their activities with the top and the bottom level. Finally, at the bottom level, we find grassroots leadership. In this place of the pyramid we usually find local leaders, leaders of indigenous NGOs, community developers, and pastors. At the bottom level, the peacebuilding leaders develop activities such as grassroots workshops, psychological work and local peace commissions199
Notice COMMUNITY DEVELOPERS are at the BOTTOM, supposedly "grass roots" level. And what kind of "democracy" does Communitarian reintegration teach?
The work in Cartagena had a deliberation perspective in which politics is a process built by the communities through their social agency. The aim of deliberation is to make collective decisions, not as a way of negotiation within different forces with different levels of power, but as a result of discussion and agreement within the society. In sum, the main objective is to promote collective action through social agency.
Is there a significant difference between collective communitarian property ownership as was perfected under communism and private property ownership as was the law in the USA?
in “El Paraiso” the main problem, that people identified, was a space that people had been using during the last ten years for trash; therefore it was plenty of plagues and it was generating several diseases, especially within the infants209. So the community decided to create a project to take all the trash off and build a soccer field in that place. It is important to mention that although the whole project involved the community, nobody took responsibility for the maintenance of the place, and three months after people finished its construction, it started to be used by the inhabitants as a trash again.
Has anyone written a Master's Thesis about COMMUNITARIAN DEMOCRACY BUILDING in the United States of America? Yes. We did in 2003. It's called What is the Hegelian Dialectic?" and "The Historical Evolution of Communitarian Thinking." Of course there is no university level studies program that allows students to dispute COMMUNITARIAN REDEVELOPMENT. We've had to do virtually ALL our work alone, without benefit of grants or academic advisers. Hell, some of the time we don't even have a desk or a phone line to work off. The ACL needs your help to continue our academic "discourse" with the unresponsive COMMUNITARIAN NETWORK. You can support our research by ordering your copy of our original ACL antithesis combined in one volume with 2020: Our Common Destiny, today.


Anonymous said...

Conflict Resolution. When I began to figure out what had been done to us and our child, having school employees lie to our faces about what the gifted program was/is and all the other dishonest things done by school employees, and I began an intense study of it, reading constantly, contacting authors, stealth attendance at education seminars, agitating at the school, I became aware of the CONFLICT RESOLUTION program that they had introduced clear down in the elementary grades. Children were being trained in it. Teachers were going to "camps" where they were being trained in this group think and they were acting out/role playing and playing very silly games. Like making two concentric circles of people, facing each other and then performing group activities. Not only are these activities used to brainwash the teachers so they can brainwash the children. But there are millions of dollars made by the scammers who sell these programs. And taxes pay for them.

the tent lady said...

The training is what's the hardest concept for people to grasp..the fact that there are SO MANY different training camps for the leaders and the followers in the new world organizational structure. Nothing has been left to chance, nothing that "they" determined could matter anyway.

I've been thinking that maybe this is how people like us can see past the bullshit. We somehow escaped from the Orwellian training camps. And anyone who escaped knows exactly how hard it is to remain outside the "group think" that almost everyone we know succumbs to. People indoctrinated into the group never think about it at all.

Anonymous said...

I have three siblings. Two of us see things the same. The other two, not so much. Our parents also escaped the group-think thing. We don't understand what makes people different, what makes some not able to go along with the herd. When I was a young child my father emphasized to me that I was to be "an individual" and not go along with the crowd. He enforced it. It was often painful. When I went into the middle-school years there was a crisis. All the kids had to take a group shower after gym class. Get naked in front of each other and the teachers. No way that was going to happen he said. I refused the "buddy showers" and was threatened with expulsion. The Principal came to our house to threaten. My father obtained a letter from a doctor excusing me from the showers altogether. Then the nazis at the school decided I could use the private shower, available for teachers, which I did. It was hard to not fit in but it saved me from the herd.