A year after signing the Colombian peace agreement the renamed Revolutionary Alternative Forces of the Commons continues its reintegration into society with a live television news broadcast.
Self-taught camera people and broadcasters are prepared to offer the country a new perspective on the national level.
Produced by the FARC’s own online network, Nueva Colombia Noticias, the program's aim is to give the world an inside look at the news, from the perspective on the ground, untouched by mainstream propaganda.
"We are not going to say we're impartial because we're not," said news director Manuel Bolivar to The Associated Press. "But I have insisted on us being objective. And objectivity doesn't translate into neutrality."
The team of 25 reporters has field experience as war correspondents covering FARC military operations. The journalists will now document the transition of FARC member into society after 50 years of war, along with the aspirations of the people for peace.
"We want to give a voice to those who have been living for decades in silence, but experiencing firsthand the state's neglect," Marilu Ramirez, a host for the group’s new online debate show, said. Ramirez was serving a 27-year sentence before being pardoned in May per the peace accord with the government of Juan Manuel Santos.
Approximately 45 percent of the 8,000 militants remain in the 26 demobilization camps designated after the peace agreement was signed in November 2016, where former guerillas are transitioning to civilian life.
"I joined the FARC as a child, aged 11 after the paramilitaries killed my brothers. I have given my weapon with the conviction that I do not want more war. Enough is enough,” said William Rivas.
"This isn't just about fulfilling promises," Jean Arnault, the U.N. representative for the Colombian peace process, said about the massive reintegration process. "This is a matter of national interest."
Activists and social groups, however, continue to protest the rise in assassinations and human rights violations against social leaders, criticizing the lack of timely implementation of the peace accord by the government.
To date, 27 FARC ex-combatants and 11 FARC family members have been killed in 2017, while at least 125 social movement leaders have been assassinated.
A report from Amnesty International released Wednesday called for immediate government action to protect its citizens. The international organization cited the homeless people from Indigenous and Afro communities, displaced by paramilitary groups following the demilitarization of the FARC.
"Amnesty International is concerned that in the contexts of movements of armed actors in territories inhabited by Indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant communities, there is an increase in cases of gender-based violence, especially sexual violence,” the report said.
“Indigenous and Afro-descendant women and girls are in a situation of marked vulnerability, which merits an integral institutional response, which guarantees the prevention of these events, as well as access to justice, truth and reparation of the damages of the survivors under equal conditions," it continued
Social movements are demanding that the national government take proper measures to guarantee the physical, psychological and social safety of communities. They are also calling on the international community to assist in investigating the string of murders targeting social movement leaders while ensuring that the Colombian state adheres to its human rights commitments.