For FARC Women Warriors Peace Marks a New Beginning: Diapers, Blankets and Baby Formula (E)
Josleidy Ramirez, a FARC guerrilla, never had a chance to raise the son she gave birth to 15 years ago in the middle of Colombia’s civil war. Now, with peace on the horizon, she is four months pregnant and looking forward to the chance to finally be a mom.
A baby boom has swept the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, as the leftist rebel group has embarked on a historic peace process with the government.
Dozens of babies have been born to guerrilla parents since peace talks opened in 2012.
At the camps where the rebels are currently disarming under a peace deal signed in November, guerrillas in combat fatigues can be seen bouncing young children on their laps.
Others, like Ramirez, are expecting to give birth in the camps.
She and her partner, Mario Rodriguez, 33, say they are optimistic for the future.
“Having a baby here is like being born again,” said Rodriguez, who joined the FARC at just nine years old, after a right-wing paramilitary unit killed his grandfather.
Ramirez, the expectant mother, is more cautious about what comes next. But she can’t help imagining a new life.
“I’ll take my baby, go to my son and we’ll be able to make a home,” she said.