RealNews

Colombian civil war weapon: coaxing guerrillas to desert

After six years as an underground guerrilla warrior, José took a deep breath, raised his arms in the air and slowly strolled toward a Colombian army base. Describing his surrender, he said he thought about Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia warnings: If you turn yourself in, they kill you. ”I just want some kind of honest civilian job to put the suffering behind me,” he said days later at a government halfway house. “Guerrilla life is ugly.” José is one of 720 members of illegal Colombian armies who had deserted by mid-June this year. They make up a growing wave of men and women who are going AWOL, turning their backs on Colombia’s 40-year conflict, and becoming a cornerstone of President Alvaro Uribe’s administration. As Uribe gets tougher on the battlefield and pours billions of U.S. aid dollars toward fighting his narco-war, he has another strategy: Get the other guys to quit. Full Story

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