RealNews

Rebels in Colombia restored to civil life

Government sweetens its crackdown on insurgents and paramilitaries with a programme offering a new identity and money to start again. In the dead of night, as Luis was on guard duty for his leftwing rebel unit, he saw his chance to escape. His heart pounding with fear, he dropped his rifle and started running through the thick jungle of the Colombian Pacific coast, leaving behind the only life he had known for the past 11 years. Luis, 23, trudged through the jungle for eight days until he came to a town, where he turned himself in at the prosecutor’s office last month. Prison, he thought, would be better than the guerrilla’s life he had not wanted in the first place. But Luis, who was forcibly recruited by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) when he was 12, got an even better deal. Full Story

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