After finalizing their disarmament as part of the agreement to reach peace in Colombia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, created its first cooperative on Tuesday to integrate former rebels into civilian life in the country.
The group created Ecomun, a small organization referred to as the first cooperative company in which its former members will participate. Thirty-seven former members of the FARC from the 26 transitional zones completed a basic workshop on social economy prior to the formation of the cooperative.
Last week, the United Nations confirmed that the FARC handed over 7,132 weapons as part of the peace process to end decades of armed conflict and to start the rebel's transition into political life.
The economic project has been registered in the city of Bogota's Chamber of Commerce and will generate entrepreneurship opportunities.
The main objective is to promote reintegration into society through work and education and create companies that focus on land ownership, mechanics, computer sciences, among others.
Griselda Restrepo, minister of labor said that "after the disarmament, this becomes another important act for the construction of peace in the country."
Restrepo said the cooperative will receive US$8 million from the Colombian state to develop ecotourism programs, environmental projects, as well as transportation and logistic workshops and added that the government is working on more projects in education and productivity for former FARC guerrillas.
The group has denounced that despite fulfilling with their end of the peace deal, the government has been slow to implement several aspects of their civilian and political transition since the peace agreement was signed in Sept. 2016.