This research is focused on the process of post-conflict reconstruction of a local community, 11 years after a massacre that transformed it in an empty territory, physically and socially destroyed. I concentrate on the reconstruction process of a small town in Colombia called El Salado, which was promoted by a foundation and mainly supported by the Private Sector (PS). In particular, this study intends to examine the reconstruction process of this town and consider how the role of the Community, the Foundation, the Private Sector and the State, as well as the relationships of power among them, have shaped the outcomes of the process in the territory so far. The study finds an indissoluble relation between the “space” as socially produced by relationships of power between the actors present in a reconstruction process, and the physical, economical, social and symbolic reconstruction aspects in the town. Accordingly, this research engages in the relevance of the role of the different actors in the production of meanings around the “new constructed space” in El Salado, which far from being essentially physical and material, are connected with social transformations and consequently, with the other aspects of the town’s reconstruction. The findings show that the role of different actors in the reconstruction of a post-conflict society goes beyond the economic restructuration; moreover, these roles are embedded in their social power relations, which influence all the dynamics, present in the reconstruction initiatives. Additionally, results suggest that El Salado as a “space” holds specific meanings to each actor involved in the reconstruction of the town, determined by their positions and perceptions of the town, their relations to the past violence as well as the relationships of power among them.

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Keywords post-conflict reconstruction, private sector, space, local ownership, Colombia, El Salado
Thesis Advisor Zarkov, Dubravka
Persistent URL
Series Conflict, Reconstruction and Human Security (CRS)
Villarreal Ramírez, Juliana. (2011, December 15). “RE-INVENTING EL SALADO” : COMMUNITY, PRIVATE SECTOR AND THE STATE IN POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION IN COLOMBIA. Conflict, Reconstruction and Human Security (CRS). Retrieved from