Farc: Meet Colombia's rebel fighters preparing for peace after morethan half-century of conflict with government

The rebel leader known as Juan Pablo carries with him a new telescopic assault rifle and a heavy heart. 
As a commander of the 36th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), one of the most active units in a half-century of bloodshed, the paunch-bellied warrior has spent 25 years plotting ambushes and assembling land mines but has never been to the cinema, driven a car or eaten in a restaurant. 
Now peace appears within reachas a self-imposed deadline of 23 March for an agreement between the guerrillas and the government approaches. So, for the first time Juan Pablo, 41, is thinking about a future outside this jungle hideout. His dream: to return to the poor village he left as a teenager and run for mayor. But transition to civilian life will come without his girlfriend and comrade-in-arms who was killed six months ago in an army raid, underscoring the toll still being exacted by Latin America’s last major guerrilla conflict even as it winds down. 
This war is going to end without victors… but lots of suffering on both sides,” said Juan Pablo, the son of a street vendor. “It’s false to say we arrived defeated to the negotiating table. They dealt us some heavy blows, of course, but 51 years of war against an enemy backed by the most powerful army in the world [the US army] has not made us cower.” 

Source http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/farc-meet-colombias-rebel-fighters-preparing-for-peace-after-more-than-half-century-of-conflict-with-a6837571.html


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