A peace built on forgetting demobilised combatants in post-war El Salvador

Abstract : The negotiated end of the civil war in El Salvador was built around a double process of demilitarisation and democratisation. It put an end to the armed conflict while giving the guerrillas the chance to become a political party and participate in the elections. The exemplary nature of this process, from the military and institutional points of view, has however hampered the demobilisation of former combatants, soldiers, and guerrillas. Individual rehabilitation programmes, plagued by delays and poor implementation, have not allowed the former combatants to find a place in post-war society. These difficulties have been exacerbated by the memories of the years of conflict maintained by political actors of a very strong ideological opposition, marginalising the image of those in the ranks who actually fought. The mobilisation of former soldiers and guerrillas are therefore either controlled by political parties or repressed by the state. In post war El Salvador, which suffers from very high levels of violence linked to delinquency, it is particularly difficult for the role and actions of former combatants to be valued positively. It is equally difficult for them to develop a collective identity linked to their participation in the armed conflict.
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David Garibay. A peace built on forgetting demobilised combatants in post-war El Salvador. International Social Science Journal, Wiley, 2006, Vol. 58 (N° 189), pp.467-478. ⟨halshs-00223107⟩



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