Strengths and shortcomings of Latin American participation in post-conflict Colombia

Published date25 February 2022
Date25 February 2022
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Aggression,conflict & peace,Sociology,Gender studies,Gender violence,Political sociology,policy & social change,Social conflicts,War/peace
AuthorMonica E. Hirst,Bruno Dalponte
Strengths and shortcomings of
Latin American participation in
post-conict Colombia
Monica E. Hirst and Bruno Dalponte
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to analyse the characteristics of the Latin American participation in
the United Nations Mission in Colombia (UNMC), looking into the contributions of regional actors to the
peace process in the immediate post-conflict. Testimonies from Latin American actors involved in the
demobilization, disarmament and reintegration process help identify their perceptions of strengths and
shortcomings of the mission. This paper analyses both the enduring relevance of their individual/institutional
trajectories and the adaptations needed to implement the Peace Agreement in the Colombiancont ext.
Design/methodology/approach This is an exploratory case study.Primary data collection relied on
in-depth,semi-structured interviews, allowingthe authors to tap into how the trajectories of thoseinvolved
help explaincontinuities and innovationsof the UNMC regarding previous UN missions.
Findings This paper argues that cultural factors are central to understand how Latin Americans
participatedin the UNMC. The design of the Monitoringand Verification Mechanismand the inclusion of a
strong gender agenda make the UNMC a salient case, both for scholars studying Latin American
presencein peace processes and for those looking into peace building,more generally.
Originality/value The fieldwork, conductedwith military/security forces, UN officialsand civilians, has
made available a diverse spectrum of testimonies that provide crucial insights into ‘‘lessons learned’’,
contributingto tracing the trajectories of these actorsand providing insights for the improvementof future
politicaland peacebuilding multilateral missions.
Keywords Colombia, Peace process, Latin America, UN political mission, MVM, DDR, Gender
Paper type Research paper
This paper addresses the Latin American participation in the United Nations Mission in
Colombia (UNMC), during the December 2016July 2017 period [1]. The mission was part
of the Tripartite Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM), formed with the signatories
to the “Final Agreement to End the Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace” (the
Agreement or the Peace Agreement henceforth), the Colombian Government and the
Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Eje
´rcito del Pueblo (FARC-EP). The three
actors would equally partake in all decisions, from day-to-day campsite’s issues to high-
level policy definitions adopted in the Bogot
a HQ. Though arduous to implement, this
design allowed the incorporation of compromises that secured the political and social
viability of actions undertakenand gave tools to resolve conflicts before escalation. Chapter
3, Section 1.3 of the Peace Agreement established that a majority of Latin American
personnel should integrate the UNMC, entrusting the region with a leadership role in
overseeing and coordinatingits implementation.
Global learning and socialization processes have led to an expansion of the rules of
engagement for UN missions (Kenkel, 2013;Autesserre, 2014). We argue that these have
Monica E. Hirst is based at
the Department of Political
Science and International
Studies, Universidad
Torcuato di Tella, Buenos
Aires, Argentina.
Bruno Dalponte is based at
the School of Political
Science and Government,
UNSAM, Buenos Aires,
Argentina and Department
of International Relations,
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Received 7 January 2022
Revised 28 January 2022
Accepted 28 January 2022
Funding for the research
project from which this article is
derived was provided by the
IPRAF (International Peace
Research Association
Foundation) through its 2019
Peace Research Grant
program. The authors would
like to thank the IPRAF for its
generous support.
The authors would also like to
acknowledge Dr Sabina
Frederic, whose contributions
were crucial in the initial design,
planning, and fieldwork stages
of the research project. Her
participation played a central
role in the definition of several
lines of work explored here.
The authors would also like to
extend special thanks to
Mariano Aguirre for his
generous recommendations
and suggestions during the
project’s formulation and
implementation stages.
The arguments and
conclusions in this document
are the authors’ sole
PAGE 334 jJOURNAL OF AGGRESSION, CONFLICTAND PEACE RESEARCH jVOL. 14 NO. 4 2022, pp. 334-345, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599 DOI 10.1108/JACPR-01-2022-0670

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