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Ex-FARC Members Create Self-Sufficient, Socialist-Modeled Town

Above Photo: A former FARC member carries a peace symbol. | Photo: Reuters

Ximena Narvaez, delegate to the Territorial Council of Reincorporation, explained that the community “works collectively, each person has a role.”

Colombia’s first town of former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels was established between gorges and mountains in the south of the department of Caqueta just two months ago.

In La Montanita, now called Hector Ramirez zone in honor of a guerrilla fighter from the FARC’s southern bloc where some 200 former fighters have settled and created a socialist village after handing over their weapons as part of the November 2016 peace accord signed between the FARC and the Colombian government.

They’ve built about 60 homes of drywall that are raised on concrete bases, assigned collective work projects, and created an equitable economy where all of the local resources are shared among the community.

Though the homes are simple dwellings, they are clean and dignified, much better than some urban center residences where people raise homes upon humps of debris. In fact, each abode is equipped with running water and electricity. Some residents have even installed Directtv antennas, according to El Tiempo.

Established after demobilized FARC members pooled together just over US$675,000 in aid from the government, the village already has a bakery, restaurant, library, soccer field and eight hectares of pineapple, banana and cassava crops.

“What we did was create a fund, between us all we put a million pesos, and with that we started to do those small collective projects,” explained Ximena Narvaez, delegate to the Territorial Council of Reincorporation.

She went on to note that community “works collectively, each person has a role,” adding that the managers of the bakery and restaurant or chosen during public assembly. “The profits produced by the business are for the collective community to solve their priority and needs.”

The US$21 monthly stipend each former guerrilla receives from the government is reinvested in the community, guaranteeing cleaning supplies and clothes items needed

The former combatants have also turned their town into a tourist site which aims to educate people about the reintegration process as well as offer healthy meals at the local restaurant.

“We already have the agenda set week,” said one of the leaders in charge of scheduling tourist activities in the territory.

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