MIRAVALLE Nineteen FARC former partisans take their ears and four colorful rafts take group visitors to make a vertiginous descent through the unexpected waters of the Pato River in the midst of the Southern Colombian jungle jungle.
Ex-combatants from the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), during a project to attract tourists in the jungle, where they fought against the government, replaced their weapons, fought costumes and backpacks with a weight of 50 kilograms of safety helmets and lifejackets. more than 50 years.
The project is part of a reintegration society of 13,000 members of the former FARC guerrillas, including more than 6,000 militants, who adopted the 2016 Peace Agreement with the Government to end the conflict that left 260,000 displaced persons and millions, orphans, widowed and distorted.
"In this conflict, the situation in this region was very complicated, there were always lead and bombs. Today, a lot has changed, and many people come to see the waterfalls, the mountain, the river, there is peace, no sound, no ball sounds, everything is different," said Duberni Moreno, 34, of which 13 He was a partisan.
Moreno and eight other breaks for 200 hours were trained by two Costa Rican lecturers and the leaders of the International Rifting Federation. Visitors to the mountain and jungle district of Caquetá can also visit hiking and wildlife shelters as well as down the river. In the future, it is planned to adjust the accommodation infrastructure with investments of $ 20,000 and attract other ex-parisites for tourist catering and transport from the nearest city center of San Vicente del Caguán for two hours on-the-road.
REINTEGRATION KEY PROCESS
Returning to civilian life is seen as an essential element in ensuring that former FARC members do not return to battle with the parliaments of the National Liberation Army (ELN), countless criminal gangs dedicated to drug trafficking, or dissidents who refused to demobilize.
Colombia's conservative society is divided between those who support and reject an agreement and the reintegration of former militants who have formed a political party, but the implementation of the pact is slow. After the signing of the peace agreement, many former members of the rebel group returned to their places of origin to join their families, while others stayed in 24 zones throughout the country, where they created cybercriminals with a model in which they are trying to survive in a country with high poverty and high unemployment.
At present, around 5,000 people in the FARC, such as Miravalle 94, live in these premises and in their surroundings. With government support and the provision of military and national police, agriculture, livestock, fish farming, footwear, carpentry, clothing, and now tourism the project. "We are very pleased to see these initiatives because they are part of a transformation of the lives of former combatants. These are the initiatives that we must continue to support," he said, "it trusts the peace process," said Jessica Faieta, deputy head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia after a rafting trip.
"These projects are those that will ensure that former combatants who have left their arms continue on their way to reintegration and transform their lives, their sources of income into legitimate activities and benefit from their community," he added. Ex-combatants have made part of the monetary resources they received at the time of demobilization, which were joined by contributions from the international community and government, and approved a $ 1.6 million budget for almost 300 projects in the reintegration process
Colombia, surrounded by two oceans, offers a range of attractions including beaches, mountains, jungles, snow, bird watching and cities with a wide range of services and shopping opportunities. The Peace Treaty has increased the number of Colombian and foreign tourists. President Iván Duque said that tourism could be the new engine of Latin America's fourth economy.
"I want tourism to become Columbia's new oil and be an excellent driver of economic activity throughout our country," said the president recently.
According to official statistics, in 2017 more than 3.3 million foreigners visited Colombia, an increase of 23.9% compared to 2016 – 2.6 million. The figures for the last two years have more than doubled the figures for 2010 and previous years, when the country hosted just over 1.4 million foreigners who were fully in conflict with the FARC and warned of fear of assault and abduction. The government estimates that tourism can generate around $ 6,000 million a year and about 300,000 jobs. In spite of the difficulty of implementing a peace agreement and cumbersome procedures for the establishment of a tourism company, ex-combatants are optimistic.
"For them to know the river, they say that they are talking to us (…) we are good people, good people, we want peace and we believe that another Colombia is possible," Moreno concluded on one of the beaches of Patto half of the heat of sucking.