Disarming ex-combatants' minds: Toward situated reintegration process in post-conflict Colombia

Sandra Baez, Hernando Santamaría-García, Agustín Ibáñez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Collective violence in the context of armed conflict impacts the economy, health systems, and social stability of affected countries. This is considered a complex phenomenon with interwoven biological, psychological, social, cultural, and political factors. However, most of the research on this topic still lacks suitable established integrative approaches to assess multilevel perspectives. Social, cognitive and affective mental processes (SCAMP) are critical factors that should be considered in multilevel approaches. In this article, we critically discuss some of the classically isolated approaches used in violence research, the absence of successful interventions for ex-combatants reintegration, and the specific neglect of SCAMP in these interventions. We present the case of post-conflict Colombia as a unique opportunity to study the different roots of collective violence, and we call for a more robust and situated approach to understanding of and intervention in this multifaceted phenomenon. In addition, we suggest a two-stage approach for addressing ex-combatants' reintegration programs, which considers the situated nature of post-conflict scenarios and the urgent need for evidence-based interventions. This approach focuses on the comprehensive scientific assessment of specific factors involved in violence exposure and the subsequent design of successful interventions. The implementation of this approach will contribute to the effective reintegration of individuals who have been exposed to extreme violence for more than 50 years.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberJAN
StatePublished - 29 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Armed conflict
  • Collective violence
  • Ex-combatants
  • Post-conflict Colombia
  • Reintegration process


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