ACIN tells the story of “Washington,” a 21 year old man who escaped from a rebel group four years ago with no money and no shoes, fleeing the violence. With aid from ACIN’s rehabilitation program, “Reconstruct the road back home,” he now lives in peace with his parents in the town of Nariño in southeast Colombia. He is part of a group of 48 demobilized guerrilla fighters of indigenous origin that belong to the program, initiated in 2005.
“I would not return to the guerillas even if they paid me,” Washington said to the newspaper.
“Reconstruct the road back home” works in conjunction with the government’s rehabilitation program demobilized paramilitary members.
“We made a humanitarian proposal that is not counter [to the government’s]. There were 30 indigenous demobilized persons murdered before 2000 for giving information to the government. The real integration should consist of a new opportunity,” a coordinator of the initiative told the newspaper.
The indigenous council has created a format to help receive rebel fighters who have laid down their arms; helping them through the interview process required by the government and assisting the demobilized find work.
Colombia’s government reported January 12 that 2,381 members of Colombian guerrilla groups deserted their ranks in 2010.