The following series conveys the vastness of the Colombian conflict’s infinite sadness. A fifty year old war that polluted with violence and displacement, regardless of economic class, political affiliation or physical realm all Colombians alike. From the mountains that form a vertebrae in the territory to the abundant forests that ring the periphery of the country, no corner was left untouched by the internecine bloodshed that’s left nearly 250,000 dead, 5.7 million more displaced and a third of a country covered in improvised explosive devices.
These images take place in some of the conflict’s most emblematic theaters. In the riverlands of El Choco, one of the war’s last (and cruelest) battlefields, the slums of displaced people living near Bogota, over the mined mountains of Antioquia as the army performs counter-insurgency operations and in the midst of the FARC’s camps deep in a unmarked forest with no name.
Now, after a stutter step, a final peace agreement between the main belligerents, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has been reached. Pending its assured implementation, the agreement will bring the hostilities to an end as well as guerilla fighting force from out the jungles of Colombia into the process of being demobilized. This is not Colombia’s first attempt at such a process. Previous insurgencies have laid down their arms, though many were subsequently slaughtered by right-wing affiliated death squads. Colombia’s challenge, both for the government as well as Latin America’s oldest irregular army is to hold the line as the countless young men and women who answered the call to revolution attempt to live a life without their rifle at the ready.
For further understanding, read Mathilde Allain’s article, Is Colombia Finally Heading Toward a Peace Agreement?