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University of Notre Dame

Publication Date

Spring 2006

Program Name

Nicaragua: Revolution, Transformation, and Civil Society

Abstract

Reconciliation, one told me, “is to throw away the land of the past, to forsake the hate that we have.” “It is a friendship,” said another, “If I don’t have it, I can’t break the silence that I carry.” The poetry of these words astonished me. Both quotes were of women ex-combatants, one had fought for the Resistencia and the other for the Sandinistas during the dreadful Contra War that beleaguered Nicaragua for much of the 1980s. Today, these women are fellow Promotores de Paz y Desarrollo, colleagues in a network of war veterans and community leaders working together to nurture structural and cultural peace within a nation that remains plagued by social injustice. Founded in 1993, La Red de Promotores de Paz y Desarrollo began as a group of demobilized Sandinista and Resistencia soldiers who, acutely familiar with the horrors of war, hoped to cultivate a sustainable reconciliation within Nicaragua’s polarized post-conflict society. “War, for us, isn’t a job that you start and then forget, but rather something that carries pain and greater resentment,” one Promotor explained. Fifteen years after the armed conflict’s official end, “the war on poverty, the war on hunger” remain enduring forms of violence that currently threaten Nicaragua’s precarious peace. This project explores the Red de Promotores de Paz y Desarrollo, documenting their transformation from soldiers of war to soldiers of peace and their current struggle against the ever-ambiguous enemies that Nicaragua’s current socio-economic situation present.

Disciplines

Peace and Conflict Studies

 

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