FARC Holds Vigil to Mark Signing of New Peace Treaty

A month after the failed referendum on the Colombian peace treaty, the FARC opened its doors to the public hoping to foster dialogue.

An attendee arrives for the vigil carrying a white flag. Several locals participated in the vigil with others traveling from Bogota.

The ratification of the peace treaty at the end of November began a six-month countdown for the 7,000-strong FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) to abandon weapons and form a political party.

The 24-hour vigil brought people who delivered messages, sang and interacted with the guerrilla fighters.

The new agreement to end Latin America's longest insurgency was put together in just over a month after the original pact — which allowed the rebels to hold public office and skip jail — was narrowly and unexpectedly defeated in an Oct. 2 referendum.

FARC rebels from nearby camps arrive for the meeting. The 7,000-strong FARC, started as a rebellion fighting rural poverty.

Family members used the vigil to visit family members who are part of the guerrilla group. Before the ceasefire and in the height of the conflict, FARC members had lost contact with family for years.

FARC fighters leave their weapons in their truck to attend the vigil unarmed.

A FARC rebel steps off a truck with her 1-year-old son, born during the peace process talks. Prior to the talks women fighters were banned from having babies.

A member of NC News (New Colombia), the FARC online news magazine, interviews a young attendee from Bogotá.

A guerrilla member known by the nome de guerre Lina (center) is hugged by her brother. Her entire family traveled across Colombia to reunite with the girl who joined the FARC 7 years ago when she was just 13. After Lina left, the family had no information on her location or well-being, until 7 months ago when the peace process and the ceasefire allowed them to look for her.

A member of the FARC offers water to a baby who attended the vigil with her family.

A FARC woman holds her 1-year-old son during the vigil.

Farmers from the region gather for the peace vigil.

Attendees hold candles during the vigil.

Attendees write messages in support of the peace process while chanting during a short peace march.

Chivas (traditional buses) begin their 18-hour journey back to Bogotá.