Tremors shake Colombia’s fragile peace

FARC troops. Source: Institute for National Security Studies
FARC troops. Source: Institute for National Security Studies

Like 10,000 of his peers, Ferley Vargas, a former FARC guerrilla, rejoined Colombian civilian society in 2016, when Latin America’s longest-running war finally ended in a peace deal and amnesty.

He was one of around 3,700 children who joined the rebels in the last 17 years of their half-century struggle — in his case, after his family was targeted by the Colombian military. 

Now, he seems to have made a successful transition to civilian life, working as a TV-camera operator.

Yet the glimmer of hope he represents may be short-lived.

Conditions have not improved in the impoverished regions once under the guerrillas’ sway, and there’s been no effective replacement of the coca leaf, the rebel movement’s main cash crop.

While Ferley Vargas says he has left the civil war behind, it seems to have reignited in other hearts.

Several thousand former rebels say they are rearming in the face of what they call failure by the government to follow through on the promises of the peace agreement.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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