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.