Patricia, a member of the FARC’s 51st Front, poses for a picture at a camp in Cordillera Oriental.
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After three decades fighting in the remote mountains of Colombia for a Marxist revolution, 60-year-old FARC rebel Cesar Gonzalez must now return to a society he barely recognizes. A peace deal unveiled Wednesday between Colombia's government and guerrilla leaders will end half a century of war and allow the rebels to set up a political party and seek power peacefully, at the ballot box.But reintegrating 7,000 fighters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) – many of whom have spent at least half their lives at war – will be a crucial part of making the peace deal work, and it is no easy task.Even for some younger rebels, like 33-year-old Gissella Mendoza, civilian life may be tough.Trained as a medic during her 20 years in the FARC's ranks, she has saved lives, amputating limbs and stemming bleeding from major wounds. FARC fighters here say they are optimistic a binding end to the war is possible but would not flinch at returning to armed struggle if the government shirks on its commitments to protect demobilizing rebels, allow the rebel group to enter politics and invest in rural areas.
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