Farmers displaced by war and ignored by politicians are searching for a new life in Bogota's slums.
Sept 04--Farmers displaced by war and ignored by politicians are searching for a new life in Bogota's slums.
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As the Colombian army steps up its offensive against paramilitaries and guerrillas, more and more people are getting pushed off their land. Some have headed for other parts of Colombia while others have fled the country. GlobalPost looks at the issue from the Colombian and Venezuelan sides of the border.
Accustomed to tending horses, cows and corn crops, a group of farmers listened intently as the professor explained the more delicate tasks of handling yeast and bread dough.
Most of these men and women were forced off their land by guerrillas or paramilitaries for allegedly collaborating with the enemy. Now, at a shelter for displaced people, they are learning how to make and sell bread so they can scratch out a living in the slums of south Bogota.
“Their world has changed,” said Huil Camacho, the professor, during a break in the class. “They have to acquire new skills to survive.”
Although the Colombian government says that the country’s guerrilla war is winding down, the number of people being run off their land by the warring factions is actually rising.
Read more here.
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