The Guardian

'There's nothing for us': Farc rebels search for purpose a year after historic deal

At the height of its power, Colombia’s Farc was the most powerful guerrilla army in Latin America. Now former fighters are struggling to adapt to civilian life
MESETAS, COLOMBIA - JUNE 27 : FARC members are seen next to a tent for a photo during the ceremony of the final act of disarmament of FARC, at La Guajira in Mesetas, Colombia on June 27, 2017. (Photo by Lokman Ilhan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Until recently, Sofía, a slight, unassuming 22-year-old, was a member of Latin America’s most powerful guerrilla army: the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

At the height of its powers, the group mounted devastating ambushes on government soldiers, kidnapped thousands of ordinary civilians and shifted shipments of drugs worth millions.

But today, after a peace deal signed one year ago, Sofía now lives in a demobilisation camp in Mesetas, where the edges of Colombia’s dense southern jungle meet the country’s rolling eastern plains.

Like many former fighters, she is

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian3 min readPolitics
China Is Harvesting Organs From Detainees, Tribunal Concludes
An independent tribunal sitting in London has concluded that the killing of detainees in China for organ transplants is continuing, and victims include imprisoned followers of the Falun Gong movement. The China Tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice
The Guardian7 min read
Can Planting Billions Of Trees Save The Planet?
When Clare Dubois’s car skidded on an icy road in Stroud, Gloucestershire, a tree prevented her vehicle tumbling into a ravine. It was, she says, a sign. Humanity is nearing a precipice. Trees can stop us going over the edge. This calling was so stro
The Guardian3 min readPolitics
Sound Of Hong Kong's Defiance Reverberates In Beijing
Beijing’s public support for Hong Kong leader likely hides private fury, but letting her go would be another humiliation