I would like to thank the Bologna Institute for Policy Research, and in particular, my advisor, Professor Søren Jessen-Petersen, for the opportunity to complete this manuscript under the towers and porticoes of the beautiful city of Bologna.
I would also like to express my deepest appreciation to my dissertation committee at the University of Texas – a group of scholars whom I admire greatly. They contributed their diverse expertise and wealth of experience to what turned out to be a very eclectic doctoral project. I am indebted to my adviser, Kate Weaver, Alexander Betts, Zach Elkins, Bob Hutchings, and Chandler Stolp. I would like to recognize Professors Henry Dietz, Ariel Dulitzky, Denise Gilman, Pamela Paxton, and Victoria Rodriguez as well as my colleagues: Greg Cumpton, Brian Muzás, and Santiago Tellez – all of whom provided me with precious advice and support.
I am enormously indebted to The Brookings-lse Project on Internal Displacement for granting me access to their archives and in particular to Roberta Cohen, Beth Ferris, Megan Bradley, Chareen Stark, and to a number of analysts at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (idmc) in Geneva who gave so generously of their time. I would also like to thank Simon Bagshaw, Jeff Drumtra, Robert Goldman, Lisa Haugaard, Khalid Koser, Andrea Lari, Anita Malley, Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, Phil Orchard, Ana White, and a number of people at usaid, the us Department of State, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
The Colombian case study could not have been possible without the help of many people who believed in my project and generously granted me their time. I am particularly grateful to: President Ernesto Samper, Minister Juan Fernando Cristo, Senator Iván Cepeda, and Representative Guillermo Rivera for agreeing to speak with me. I would also like to thank: Liliana Avila, Juan Manuel Bustillo and his colleagues at ccj, Catalina Botero, Cathy Bouley, Juan Carlos Caiza, Andrés Celis, Pedro Cortez, Viviana Ferro, Olivia Franken, Father Rodrigo Garcia, Federico Guzmán, Msgr. Hector Fabio Henao, Todd Howland, Adam Lenert, Ricardo Martinez and his colleagues at Pastoral Social, Jorge Orlando Melo, Flor Edilma Osorio, Mauricio Parra, María del Mar Pizarro, Clara Elena Reales, Geiler Romaña, Marco Romero and his colleagues at codhes, Camilo Sanchez and his colleagues at DeJusticia, Angela Suarez, Roberto Vidal, Thea Villate, Miguel Winograd, the Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica, and a number of internally displaced persons who shared their stories with me.
I would also like to thank my extended family in Colombia and in particular Aura Maria Cardona, Leo and Sofi who took me into their home during my long stays in Colombia. I would be remiss if I forgot my drivers in Bogotá, Gonzalo Herrera and Marco Fidel Saganome, who navigated and entertained me through endless hours of heavy traffic.
This project was partly funded by a doctoral fellowship from the Academic Council on the United Nations System (acuns), and was made possible by a post-doctoral fellowship from the Bologna Center for Policy Research at the John’s Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Finally, I could not have completed this project without the loving support of my family: Mom, Stanley, Jenaro, my two precious girls Sophia and Penelope (who was born during this project’s inception), and most importantly my wife, Patricia. This was in many ways a journey we took together, which required many joint sacrifices along the way. I could not have completed it without her belief in me, her unconditional love, and her sense of humor.
This book is dedicated to the memory of my stepfather, Stanley Meisler. A born storyteller, adventurous soul, mentor and friend. I miss him dearly.