Part II | The FARC-EP Combatants

Between war and peace
 

Three years ago, the FARC-EP and the Colombian government started peace talks. Last July, the guerrilla declared a second unilateral ceasefire, while the negotiations have never been so far away. The country is close to a bilateral ceasefire and the peace agreement. It is possible to imagine that this army of around 8,000 people, and its civilian militias (estimated at three or four times more), will lay down their guns and participate in political and social spaces.

This part intents to seize the identity of these combatants. Most of them come from peasant families. They live nomadic lives for years. The series presents two Southern Bloc FARC-EP units: The first one, a unit from the south of Caquetá in May 2015 at the time of the first unilateral ceasefire; the second one from the Teófilo Forero column in the north Caquetá in October 2015 at the time of the second unilateral ceasefire. The series shows the daily lives of the guerilla. Most of them come from the same region and have other family members in the guerilla. Some of them joined the guerrilla while still very young, escaping from a dysfunctional family or a history of violence and repression. Female combatants represent between 30 and 40% of the FARC’s members. All of them abandoned their old identities and took up new names when they joined this new family. It is difficult for them to imagine or believe in a peaceful future. But all of them also tells they will continue with the movement, even without weapon, waiting the commander’s guidance. “I’m in the line, and here, I have to stay”, says one of them.

The reportage, still in progress, gives a particular focus to women’s situations. The extent and nature of women’s participation during conflicts is frequently underestimated, and therefore their own place in the implementation of a peaceful state

 

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 •••• Work in progress . . . . . .