NYT Reports from La Paz Guerrilla Camp: Rebels Ponder Disarming, Transitioning and a Future with a Family Named FARC
LA PAZ, Colombia — The town’s name is Spanish for “peace.” The days to come will test how accurate that is. After a half-century of war, Colombia’s rebels are disarming, preparing to enter civilian life under the peace accord signed last year. In this mountain town, a new settlement of former fighters, 80 strong and growing, is taking shape, one of many scattered across the country.
Most of the fighters interviewed said they planned to remain with the FARC, which they saw as their family now, following it into whatever political incarnation it takes in the coming years.
“There was no way out where I was from,” said Yackeline, 32, a fighter who ran away to a rebel camp when she was 13 because she says it was the only place that she could receive an education.
She had not contacted her family, but she said she would. She was taking little steps, one at a time, each adjustment to a life after the conflict coming with surprises.
“We wake up on mattresses tired, like we haven’t slept,” she said. “We are just not used to them.” New York Times