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For a little under a year, the Colombian government and the FARC have been holding peace talks in Havana. Two Colombian government negotiators, a prominent opposition member of the Venezuelan National Assembly, a former Cuban diplomat, and two demobilized fighters offer their takes on the negotiations. Their hopefulness about the process varies, but all warn of regional instability should talks fail.
As the Colombian government sits down with FARC for formal peace negotiations this month, reports about the talks abound. Curiously missing, however, is any discussion of Bogota's nine-year-old program to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate rebels and whether it is equipped to bring thousands of remaining FARC guerrillas back into society should a peace agreement be reached.
Although shooting female FARC members first during battle is not official policy, a retired Colombian colonel told the author in 2009, any sensible soldier would do so. With their "Kamikaze-like" mentality, he said, they are the deadliest combatants. This profile of one former member illustrates how the abuses women face once inside the group create such a mindset.