With the ratification of a peace deal late last year and their move to demobilization camps earlier this year, Colombia’s left-wing FARC rebels are well into their transition from Colombia’s biggest rebel group to legitimate citizens and political actors.

The shift from fugitives in their own country to normal Colombians has been fraught for FARC rebels and their leadership.

More than a half-century of violence is not easy to leave behind, and the shift to normal life will continue to present challenges.

An anecdote in a New Yorker profile of Carlos Antonio Lozada, a FARC member since 1978 who has been a main leader during the group’s peace talks with the government, underscores how the rebels’ long existence outside of Colombian society complicates their efforts to move back into it.

“Lozada said that a Colombian army general involved in the peace process had invited him to join LinkedIn. He had tried, but had been stymied by the online membership form,” Jon Lee Anderson writes.

“‘It asks for your ‘curriculum, professional contacts and qualifications, and references,’ Lozada exclaimed, erupting in a fit of laughter. ‘Job description—commander for the FARC! References—Timochenko!’


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Featured image courtesy of Reuters