Constructing peace, one undertaking at a time in Colombia




A pot boils on a wooden hearth within the open air at a relaxation spot within the Serranía del Perijá, within the mountainous rural north of Colombia. Greater than 100 individuals, together with former combatants from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia insurgent group generally known as FARC, their households, and native individuals in addition to troopers of the Colombian Nationwide Military, work collectively on the sting of a precipice.
They’re carrying three-inch-diameter hoses over almost 9 kilometers of steep terrain as a part of a UN Meals and Agriculture Group (FAO)-supported undertaking to enhance water provides.
It took months of laborious work to raise the hose, set it in place, bury it and join it to an area river which offers a dependable provide of water.
“Probably the most lovely factor I bear in mind was the best way the military, our former adversary, group, former rebels and native authorities labored collectively, whatever the previous that separated us,” says Yarledys Olaya, an indigenous Barí lady, who spent 20 years combating for the now disbanded FARC insurgent group.
FARC guerillas waged  a half century-long civil struggle towards the Colombian authorities, which formally ended with the signing of a historic Ultimate Peace Settlement in 2016. 

Marcos GuevaraYarledys Olaya (left) works alongside different former combatants and native individuals to laya water pipe.

A brand new life in a pleasing land
Yarledys Olaya is certainly one of some 13,000 ex-combatants who dedicated to peace in Colombia and who started new lives in locations like Tierra Grata.
“I image my future right here; I image myself rising outdated,” she says. “This course of has not been simple. Up to now we noticed our comrades get killed. However personally, it has allowed me to start out my household, to have the ability to spend time with them, and to open my house to my daughters.
“That’s the reason we need to proceed constructing and betting on peace. Not just for the rebels who’ve been reintegrated into society however for a collective peace for the nation.”
Within the close by city of San José de Oriente, native individuals have been afraid that when the ex-combatants got here to the area, violence would begin once more, however minds have been modified after they introduced simply peace and a willingness to work on group initiatives.
Yarledys Olaya arrived in Tierra Grata in November 2016 aboard a truck along with 120 different guerrillas, most of them armed. She was sporting a camouflage uniform, boots, a black T-shirt, and carried a backpack and a rifle on her shoulder; she lined her face with a inexperienced scarf not eager to be recognized.
“There was a number of distrust. I felt that we have been reserved, surly, and that native individuals checked out us in a different way.” It was two months earlier than, the Peace Settlement between the federal government and the FARC had been signed.
“This was not a private resolution, it was a collective resolution,” she says. “I believed, let’s proceed however stay life in one other approach. The great factor is that I had not needed to see my comrades fall, which is regular throughout a struggle.”
Monitoring the ceasefire
It was an remoted location; an outdated farmhouse stood beside dense vegetation, together with the native frailejones plant. A bit of land had been cleared to make room to construct a reintegration camp; throughout, there have been Military and Colombian police personnel.

Yarledys Olaya addresses the Tierra Grata Neighborhood Motion Board of which she is president. , by Marcos Guevara

In a close-by space, the United Nations had erected tents the place consultants who had monitored the ceasefire would confirm the laying down of arms. Between March and September 2017, the UN mission in Colombia obtained 8,994 weapons from FARC all through the nation together with Tierra Grata.
Six months have been spent constructing the camp which offered 158 residing quarters. The ex-combatants have been speculated to bear a reintegration course of there after which go away for a extra everlasting location, however most of them had nowhere to go and so stayed.
Daughters from struggle, and peace
At present, Tierra Grata is a formalized village inhabited by some 300 individuals, each ex-combatants and members of the family. Some have been born there, and others joined their households.
Yarledys Olaya left her new child, Yacana, with a relative when she joined FARC and was reunited two months after arriving in Tierra Grata. Two years later she gave start to a different daughter, Yaquelín, certainly one of 65 kids, born within the new settlement.
“Yacana is my daughter from the struggle, and Yaquelín my daughter from peace,” she says.
Yarledys Olaya continues to work on group initiatives, constructing everlasting buildings and bringing water and electrical energy to the village. “As girls in the course of the struggle, we performed a basic function,” she says, “and now on this new second, we’re serving to to construct peace, as a result of we really feel that this course of is ours; that’s the reason we’re keen to contribute our final drop of sweat to this future.”

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Robust Establishments
Sustainable Growth Purpose 16 acknowledges that battle, insecurity, weak establishments and restricted entry to justice stay a major menace to sustainable growth.
It goals to scale back all types of violence and deaths brought on by that violence. It focuses on ending the abuse, exploitation, torture and trafficking of kids.
The UN Verification Mission in Colombia was established by the UN Safety Council in 2017 to help the peace course of in Colombia.
It has labored intently with nationwide authorities and former combatants to advertise progress in reintegration and security-related points.

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