Amazing! Former FARC combatants could be forest guides

Thanks to an initiative of the French government and other institutional bodies, ex-combatants from the FARC can become guides and forest guards

Amazing! Former FARC combatants could be forest guides

The reinserted of the ex-guerrilla of the FARC could participate in ecotourism programs and in this way they would have employment opportunities that allow them to re-establish their civil life. This was reported by the French newspaper Sud Ouest, after hearing the approval of the initiative by the Aquitaine Regional Council and the government of France.

Leer en español: ¡Increíble! Exguerrilleros de las FARC podrían ser guías forestales

The Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park in the southwest of France will be the chosen area for the ex-combatants of the FARC to work as eco-guides and guards of the biodiverse flora and fauna of these territories. The opinions on this alternative supported by the socialist representatives that make up the Regional Council are divergent, according to the same media.

International support for reintegration

Renaud Lagrave, president of the aforementioned park, told EFE that despite "what may have happened before, which at least is more than criticizable, the reality is that we do want a peace process in Colombia in which the international community will have to help."

The project will begin its formation process in Colombia during the first months of 2019. For this, and as the Sud Ouest newspaper explains, five educational guards will travel to Nariño to train former guerrillas.

In this way, it is expected that with the training exercise, ex-guerrillas will have the opportunity to counteract coca crops, global warming and the loss of biodiversity. This, both in their territories and communities and in France, a country where several of them will complete their training and will be able to experience the guiding work by combining their previous experience in the Colombian jungles and the new knowledge acquired.

According to the Regional Council of France, to carry out the project will be needed about 60,000 euros. However, the French commune La Grave could determine the amount necessary to make the proposal. It is expected that the State of Nariño and the Ministry of Environment contribute 30,000 euros.

As the project indicates, the primary objective is to ensure that a job training goes hand in hand with the demobilization process to ensure its success.

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Mixed opinions

Although the Aquitaine Regional Council is chaired by the group supporting the project, right-wing extremists opponents are adamant that it is an unnecessary and ill-conceived plan.

"Bringing in former terrorists can be particularly dangerous. Will there be a psychological or psychiatric follow-up? What guarantees us that they will not relapse?" Marine Le Pen party counselor Edwige Diaz told the media. Then she added that Alain Rousset, socialist president of the assembly, is playing a naive trick to bring "terrorists" to the country to become gentle forest guides.

Diaz also pointed out that local problems are a priority and that this struggle does not correspond to them. She warned that "unemployment is triggered in France, insecurity also, and they are getting poorer and poorer. (...) Those 30,000 euros could be used differently," she said.

For his part, Lagrave refuted these opinions, commenting to EFE that "it is a pretext not to help, everyone knows that (the right-wing extremists) are the party of exclusion, they are systematically against all cooperation."

Then he explained the importance of the international exchange of knowledge and the social and pedagogical result that can be made with the reinsertion project of ex-combatants as guides in the schools of both countries.

LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Becerra

Translated from "¡Increíble! Los exguerrilleros de las FARC podrán ser guías forestales"

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