With rare and exclusive access, the Guardian joins one of the Farc’s remaining rebel cells deep in the Colombian jungle as guerrillas contemplate the final days of their dying revolution.
After 51 years of armed struggle and numerous attempts at peace, the revolutionaries’ rapidly dwindling numbers have resolved into a hard core of hold-out cells, still on the run and deeply reluctant to give up their guns.
Mientras que sus comandantes negocian en la Habana, los rebeldes quieren un acuerdo de paz aunque se sientan dudosos sobre el futuro.
Heroes Do Exist in Colombia was the name of the first major military propaganda campaign rolled out during ex-president Alvaro Uribe’s (2002-2010) Democratic Security Policy.
The government’s publicists reached for the hearts and minds of Colombians using emotional narratives of war and by constructing an image of the military based on the figure of hero and protector of a population vulnerable in the face of a guerrilla insurgency.
Aimed at convincing Colombians of the need for a security policy at any cost, the propaganda strategy also served as a way to conceal the reproachable role of the government during one of the cruelest periods of the armed conflict marked by paramilitary violence, political corruption and the military practice of inflating body counts by killing innocent civilians.
Aiming for the Heart shows how publicity campaigns become yet another battle ground in the armed conflict, trying to legitimize a war through propaganda and win the support of a divided society.
Direction: Claudia Gordillo and Bruno Federico
Original Idea: Claudia Gordillo
Research Assistant: Camilo Medina
Photography and editing: Bruno Federico
Production: Dance Stationary
Music: Music Multimedia
Duration: 52 minutes
In the Cauca department, as in all Colombia, a rush for gold has started.
There arrive people from all parts of the country, attracted by the dream of becoming rich on the one hand, but on the other hand, and more urgently, pushed by a reality of hunger and lack of opportunities.
Poor and dreamy gold seekers, the barequeros live from the crumbs the backhoe-diggers leave behind. The hundreds of metal spoons devastate the rivers when they extract kilos of gold and mock the laws, which, if not blind, are accomplices. Everyone participates in this profitable business, the guerrilla groups, the paramilitaries, the public armed forces, local administrations and controlling institutions. This is obvious.
Faced with this disaster, the Government in Bogotá envisions the control of the mines as future task of the public armed forces, under a perspective of post-conflict. However, at the same it cedes all the gold of Colombia to foreign enterprises like Anglo Gold Ashanty, Glencore, Carbón Colombia, at bargain sale prices.
A few daring resist offering their bodies and their lives to defend the land, the rivers, the idea of autonomy and respect.