An ex-FARC Combatant Shares His Story and Community

Sophia Lucente

A man from Caqueta, Colombia, was a part of the guerrilla group FARC in the Colombian conflict. Now, he is working to build the community in Guaviare.


During the Colombian conflict, guerrilla groups would travel into civilian towns to persuade people to join their movement. When this ex-combatant was just 12, he was convinced to join the FARC group. 

A Colombian man in a white shirt looks off to the right of the camera, leaning against a bar outside.

He stayed for 36 years.

A child and goat stand in a dirt road outside a shop where two men work on a motorcycle.

The FARC were a left-wing guerilla group who fought against the state in the Colombian conflict. Six years ago, the Colombian government signed peace accords with the FARC in an effort to end the conflict. Once the peace accords were implemented, the FARC set up ex-combatant communities called ETCRs. Below is the story of an ex-combatant and the ETCR in Guaviare.

While in combat, he and the other FARC members would stay in the regions of Chiribiquete, rumored to be untouched land, although now proven indigenous people lived in these areas of the forest. The combatants are the few people with photos from this land.


The forest acted as protection, and they would come out of the forest to fight or get supplies. They even had a pet jaguar, named Sophia.

When the peace accords were signed in 2016, this group of FARC laid down their weapons, and built their communities in between Chiribiquete and the city of San Jose del Guaviare in Guaviare.


Their community has around 200 ex-combatants and a total of 600 people living in the community. 


Some of the amenities in the community include a school, playground, library, supermarket, gym and activities center. He said they celebrate with the community every time there is a birthday, and with 600 members, that is practically every day. 

A dog sits outside the yellow and green house that belongs to the ex-FARC combatant.

The ex-combatant is currently a manager of the community and has ten projects underway, including a food processing plant, where the community can work with farmers to sell food to San Jose.


He has a 28-year-old daughter, who lives outside of the ex-FARC community, and an 8 year old son, who lives with him now in the community, in a green and yellow house.

Two adults walk with two children through the community of teal houses with thatched roofs.

He now has his GED, and if he went back to school, he would go for environmental sciences.


He hopes that they will be able to expand and build their community further as the peace process continues. He has faith the current administration will help them implement these ideas further.