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Boris Heger February 24, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Colombia.

FARC combatants. Cauca Colombia 2010

Boris Heger (b.1968 Switzerland) is based in Colombia after living in Bolivia for two years. He lived in Africa for ten years, where he mostly worked for Associated Press in Ivory Coast and Ethiopia (also covering Sudan and Darfur). He has collaborated with various publications and humanitarian organizations including United Nations agencies, the International Red Cross and various NGO’s.  His work has been published: Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Miami Herald, USA Today, The Guardian, Le Figaro, VSD, Jeune Afrique, L’Express, Le Matin, La Presse, Der Spiegel among others. Boris is represented by Polaris Images photo agency.

About the Photograph:

“The FARC are one of the oldest guerrilla movements in the world, existing for 46 years. A few months ago I had the luck to be accepted for a few days by a group of FARC guerrillas with a friend in the mountains of Cauca. I say lucky because it is exceptional to be allowed to meet the guerrillas. The new President, former Minister of Defense had just been elected, partially on the ground that he had defeated the movement during his posting. It was good timing for the FARC to show they were still around and able to create trouble. Fighting in this region occurs daily and military spy planes and “Black Hawk” helicopters provided by the US fly around regularly searching for guerrillas. This group of 25 soldiers maintain pressure on army positions by attacking them regularly. For security reasons, they sleep in the field on plastic sheeting and never stay more than one night in the same place, walking in the dark, hiding under trees during the day. Some of those men have lived this way for decades.”

“The idea of these images is to go beyond the usual “clichés”, something different than the usual partial depiction of kidnappers, drug traffickers, and terrorists and describe daily life. Most of them are very young and come from poor families of farmers who often don’t eat more than once a day. As a guerrilla, they are insured to get three meals a day, medical care, and a social status. The girl in this image is in charge of  communication and taking care of the radio equipment. Young woman in the movement are treated the same as men, carry the same loads, and fight as any other man. Alias Monica said she was proud to have participated in various operations. Woman are not allowed to have babies and all of them claim they do not want family life as they are dedicated to the cause. Relations are only permitted through the permission of the commander, and contraceptive pills are freely available.”

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