Colombian Rebels Exchange Rifles for Rattles: Baby Boom in FARC Camps
“In the last year, as the FARC and government reached an agreement to end Latin America’s longest-running armed conflict, those stringent battlefield rules have loosened. The result is a veritable baby boom, which has struck a chord even among urban Colombians far removed from the conflict, a few of whom have mobilized to transport diapers and creams to the new mothers after seeing images of sweltering infants on cots in the rural encampments.
“It wasn’t seen as viable for us to have children, because why is someone going to have them when there are bullets flying around?” said Jerly Suarez, 29. She gave birth shortly before the FARC began its march to one of the 26 demobilization zones.
“Among the 7,000 guerrillas gathered at the demobilization zones across the country, 114 women are pregnant and 77 babies have been born recently, according to the government. Dozens of other older children who had been left with relatives during the conflict have also arrived. That has injected a sense of optimism into camps where war-hardened rebels are beginning their transition to civilian life.
Many are referring to the babies as the ‘children of peace.'” Washington’s Top News