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Abstract

Colombia has been the site of one of the world’s longest internal armed conflicts. Its population has been trapped between different armed groups, who in their struggle for control over land and resources have uprooted millions of people. After the demobilization of the country’s paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) in 2006, many people have started returning to the land from which they were displaced. A land restitution and reparation program was adopted in 2011 that is now, slowly, returning land to its original owners and assisting people in the difficult process of resettling. This paper describes how people in two communities in Colombia’s Magdalena Department are attempting to rebuild their lives among memories of fear and violence, and in conditions that reflect the severe structural inequalities that many people still continue to suffer today.

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