As part of the documentary undertaking 'Voces de Vereda', we’ve spoken with some people from these communities, direct protagonists of the present peace process and in addition from the greater than five many years of armed battle, by means of their daily, reminiscences, anecdotes , goals and future plans.
“I come from a department referred to as Boyacá, the Esmeraldera area of Colombia. I came here to Meta for those hazards of life. My husband is from right here, he went there and introduced me. I arrived about 21 years ago, and I stayed. My youngsters have been raised here, they usually studied in this little faculty, the place I work as a instructor. Though I studied in the city, I’ve all the time lived in the countryside; the metropolis is not that I keep up late. I like my mangoes, my birds, go to the river in summer time; fishing fascinates me, and that's not what you see in a city. “
What did you are feeling if you first met the guerrillas?
The phrase guerrilla for me was terrible. In my territory there isn’t a guerrilla. Once I arrived in Piñalito, my coronary heart would come out. My husband stated to me: “You do not talk, stay quiet. Do not say where you come from. ” And to the youngsters the similar, we informed them to be quiet. Nevertheless, my little boy began to see the guerrillas and stated: “Look, mom, police.” And I: “No, shut up, shut up.” The scare was that they might take heed to us. But, little by little, we began to comprehend that issues have been not as people say them outdoors, as a result of one in the cities hears terrible issues from the guerrillas. But actually once I arrived right here I saw very various things, it's not like they say outdoors. I did not mix much with them, however I already looked at them with out being afraid. There was not that worry.
What was life like on the sidewalk when it arrived?
I arrived here when Pastrana (1998-2002). In the time of distension [durante los Acuerdos de paz del Caguán, en los que el Gobierno de Pastrana y las FARC-EP acordaron una zona de “distensión” donde se aseguraba que la fuerza pública no atacaría a la guerrilla] this was excellent There have been no roads. It was all by the river, it was coming by canoe. At that time you noticed a lot of money, plenty of people, loads of youngsters. This faculty had 80 students.
It was the time of the cocalero growth. Had he ever seen coca?
No, I did not know coca. And my youngsters much less. They discovered it so humorous to see the crops, so pretty, inexperienced and the little leaves … They started enjoying one afternoon, performed and played among the bushes of coca, and then: “Mom, it stings me, mom, it stings me”. We bathe them, we put them to bed and the next day they’re infected and all are chopped. We had to take from the three cocas – at the time there was sweet, bitter and Peruvian – and put together a bath; bathe them and give them a drink. It was the first contact we had with coca.
When did the state of affairs begin to vary?
When the eradication came, the whole lot modified. One, because they eradicated; one other, because when Cellular 4 got here in [d[del ejército de Colombia]He came sweeping by means of, killing everyone. For them we have been all guerrillas, no matter who we have been. We have been all helpers [c[colaboradores de la guerrilla]they all checked out us ugly, so to speak, and extorted the entire world. Then many people began to to migrate and the faculties also started to lower mechanically. With the eradication many faculties have been closed. When the cocaine was over, every thing was over. We have been alone, on the path we turned four households.
What penalties did the group should stay in a guerrilla control space on a day-to-day foundation?
It was forbidden to have a cellphone, for many who had a cellular phone it was a dying sentence. When you left lots, they thought you have been carrying info: for the military, that we have been bringing; for the guerrilla, that we have been main. Being here has all the time been a conflict. You need to be very targeted, neither for there nor for here. It should all the time be like this. And even right now one avoids. I’ve nothing with the ex-combatants, I greet them, I deal with them, all the similar, very nicely, but as a lot as attainable I try to neither go right here nor there. I proceed in my position, as a instructor, nothing more. Mother and prepared, nothing more. People all the time in the cities criticize: “Ah, is that the people there are guerrillas.” In my neighborhood in Bogota they informed us that we have been guerrillas because we lived in El Llano. He advised them: “no, nothing to see”. The fact that I am there does not mean that I’m a guerrilla. I informed them: “I’m neither from there nor from here. I’m from Boyacá. “
And the way was the conflict lived from the faculty? What is the position of the instructor in rural areas in the middle of the armed battle?
Right here? Nicely a bit difficult, as a result of one as a instructor can not speak about politics. Limit your self to what corresponds and nothing else. You’ll be able to not comment. What I discovered excellent, in the case of the guerrillas, is that they all the time said that they did not become involved with schooling, nor with faith either. However right here you work together with your nails. As a result of the ministry of schooling requires some parameters, however they do not give us instruments. You possibly can take a look at my library, my books, they're eaten by weevils. There are some that you simply open them and you may not read them how broken they are. And here one is not solely a instructor, it’s multiservice: you are a psychologist, a mom, an educator, a nurse, a librarian, a watchman – it’s a must to watch out not to lose your gear, in any other case you may be charged.
For more than 20 years she has been a instructor for many generations of women and boys in the space. How did I stay, as a instructor and as a mother, the march of young people to the guerrillas?
What modifications have you seen in the faculty because of the peace process?
The mentality of women and boys. First as a result of here they do not play the cowboys, nor the guerrillas, nor that I am a policeman, or anything like that. They already take into consideration football, they speak rather a lot about James, about Falçao … They have one other perspective. Earlier than, the aim of lots of them was to be 14 or 15 years previous, and once they had the power to take a rifle, look for where the guerrillas have been and depart. These days, not anymore. They do not converse any of that, they have nothing to do with the guerrillas; the word guerrilla not knows it. They are saying: “there is a party where the ex-combatants”, they not say so guerrilla: “tonight there are roosters where the ex-combatants”. You ask them what the ex-combatants are and, consider me, they do not have the remotest concept. They do not know what the FARC are because they did not reside them. They know that right here there is a demilitarized zone, that they have been guerrillas and that they’re not. They may have that of their reminiscence, they have been in an space of peace agreements and that that they had the cool part. We had the conflict, but that they had peace. And that's additionally a change for moms and dads, who not stay with that uncertainty that “my Chinese [n[niño]e went to the guerrilla, and one looks at them there crying, with a sadness … “Oh my God, my little girl left. It blew me up last night. ” For me, the peace process is something very constructive for this region. Nice.
Historical past stopped being taught in the faculties for a long time, now’s it being taught again?
Sure, History got here out as one thing compulsory. In my time, one checked out Social and checked out History, separately. And that matter had disappeared. Ahoritica pressured us. That is where we’ve to elucidate: why the guerrillas emerged, what occurred to them until the peace course of, every part that is already part of our historical past. I, thank God, I lived it and my youngsters are also dwelling it, and it's an excellent thing. For instance, final night time a helicopter flew by quietly right here; About 10 years in the past that would not occur. If a aircraft was coming, it was the bomber, the sky was filled with airplanes. And you see that final night time? They come in, they exit, they unload, as if nothing, do you see the difference? That is the story that have to be informed now, the time we are living.
Are you seeing the implementation of the settlement in the daily of the group?
Has it also had penalties on your loved ones?
Sure. Right now, when the peace process started, my son advised us that he needed to be a non-commissioned officer [d[del ejército] I:
-Oh no! Do not you know where we are?
-Sure, mother, but I need to be a non-commissioned officer of the army.
I advised my husband:
-We already needed to depart here.
Thankfully, the peace process was made, he entered the army academy and graduated. He is already working. And in December he came – people know he is a non-commissioned officer – and he got here and went to the river, we have been fishing, he even played football with the guerrillas, we took a bath, we ate sancocho, every part was normal. Not only my son, my neighbor additionally has a non-commissioned son, another pal also has one. But in another period, the boys would not have been capable of research that: both they might have killed us or we might have had to depart. So, do you see how peace has modified the mentality? There are lots of boys who have left this region, they have studied, they’ve gone to universities. Youth not stay solely here in the countryside, specializing in coca or guerrilla.
And what is this peace lacking?
Still so much. For instance, we have now lots of unemployment, employment opportunities as such, there’s not. Of the health, it was stated at the beginning that there was going to be a well being publish outfitted with a physician and a nurse, medicines, something that has not happened -and that may not happen, I think-. That was how it was left. The roads, as a result of they’re making us a material arrangement of heat water, because when winter enters, which rains day and night time, the roads are horrible, and again we return to the similar chaos. And the cellular library that they gave us [u[un proyecto del ministerio de Cultura que llegó con la implementación del acuerdo de paz]very lovely, very lovely … when it was open I took my boys there. But now it's closed. And who is aware of how much longer it is going to be closed; all that materials is being lost there.
How is the group's relationship with ex-combatants of the FARC-EP?
We now have a barrier. I do not know if it's them or us, but they have their people there and we, right here. At the beginning it was very cool, as a result of they played many soccer video games, they integrated lots, many dances, cultural activities, very cool; but all that has been lost. Another thing that has modified is that at the starting there was plenty of the National College, the District College, all these universities have been here. And ahoritica, there’s no one. All this inspired them to grow to be more culturized, they usually also transmitted it to us. But as there isn’t any finances … And there’s additionally a fantastic uncertainty, as a result of they say that only until this yr is that they’ve meals [e[el apoyo económico y la manutención de los Espacios Territoriales de Capacitación y Reincorporación – ETCR donde se agruparon las FARC reciben apoyo durante los dos primeros años del proceso, y vence en agosto de 2019]and there the query: And what? The place to? How are they going to do? Lots of them know that they may not go back to arms as a result of they have already got one other mentality. Some have studied, others have already got corporations, but many are nonetheless in limbo. And what are you going to do? Because they have been taught at a rhythm of life there, and right here in civil life is one other. And the largest drawback that I see is that we are in the middle, as a group.
This interview was carried out within the framework of the documentary undertaking Voces de Vereda, funded by the European Union and the Body, Voice, Report! Challenge of the Barcelona City Council and the Catalan Agency for Improvement Cooperation by way of the DevReporter Grant of Lafede. cat
Do not miss the first interview of this collection: “As long as hunger, need and absolute poverty continue, the war in Colombia will never end”
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