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| 6/17/2011 11:00:00 AM

To win the war, Colombia needs female fighters to lay down their arms

June 17--Women are key to the FARC insurgency, making up about one-third of the Colombian rebel group.

When she hears a helicopter, Tatiana Sinisterra’s instinct is to dive.

During her two years as a rebel fighter, she would throw herself into trenches during bombing raids by Colombia’s military.

But on a recent morning, Sinisterra voluntarily got on a military helicopter headed for southwestern Colombia.

She was embarking on an unusual mission to communicate with her former compatriots to convince them to put down their arms.

The FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) have seen their ranks fall by more than half since 2002.
 
While intense military offensives are a large part of the reason, thousands of guerrillas like Sinisterra have also deserted the rebel group, lured by a government program that offers them entry into civilian life in exchange for disarming.
 
Read more here.

Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.

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