While reintegration programs for ex‐combatants have become a major focus of cease fire agreements, their success remains elusive. In this study, I interview members of Nuevo Horizonte, an intentional community comprised of Guatemalan ex‐guerrillas. These men and women reflect on two questions: what was reintegration like, and what advice do you have for other reintegrating ex-combatants. Using a grounded theory approach, common themes (such as being united) were developed and lead to a substantive theory of their transformative reintegration process. The collective voice of these ex‐ combatants challenges conventional reintegration programs by (a) challenging the demobilization prerogative showcasing how their unity was integral to their reintegration experience and (b) challenging the development model in which ex‐combatants are viewed as lacking capacity and in need of outside experts to deliver solutions. By highlighting how reliance on their own capacity resulted in their successful reintegration, these ex‐combatants believe their experience can assist other ex‐combatants around the world.


Ex-Combatants, Grounded Theory, Guatemala, Peace, DemobilizationDisarmament and Reintegration (DDR), Social Constructionism

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