6 days ago
Photo by @lena_mucha
| milena, 16, joined the eln in september 2017. "i always liked the guerrilla, even as a young girl i was impressed how they were fighting for our people and how they treated our community." 2. photo: view on the village in the morning, where the rebels stayed for 2 weeks before heading back to the jungle.
last year i had the opportunity to spend some time with young rebel fighters in colombia. after the farc gave up their weapons in mid 2017, the eln - the national liberation army - , is the last armed rebel group in colombia.
as politicians and media talk peace, the eln is preparing for war, dangling love and justice to recruit teenagers into their ranks. in remote camps in the eastern department chocó, they are trained to fight, as the ceasefire with the government ended in early january.
the motivation for these teenagers goes beyond a political ideology. due to a lack of opportunities many see it as the only way to leave their homes, escape domestic violence or in search for a sense in their lives.
daily life in these camps might look like a summer camp, but their unwitting role in a complex political situation is much more sinister. the eln is 2000-2500 strong, and judging by the speeches made to groups of children as young as 8, there are no plans to lay down their weapons.
my name is lena mucha. i am a german photojournalist based between berlin and colombia. in my work i focus on stories related tohuman rights, gender aspects and social changes within societies and ethnic groups that are mainly under-reported.
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