While living in the Pre-Concentration Zones, the 18th Front continues to stay active, performing calisthenics and playing sport regularly to stay in shape despite the change of lifestyle. The completed UN Transition Zone they will be moving to is supposed to have a sports field.
Emilson and other members of the 18th Front spend time completing daily lessons prepared by the Front Secretariat. These lessons include elements of the peace accords, grammar and literacy as many of the guerrillas have not completed their high school studies. Emilson wears a Tapa Pecho, a chest cover that many in the Front create, having adapted the weaving technique from local indigenous culture.
Wilder and Nairo help to clear a field at their temporary camp that will be used to plant potatoes. While the government has begun to provide some supplies to the 18th Front since their relocation, the food has until recently been spoiled or inconsumable.
Cesar and Alberto gather firewood from the jungle near their pre concentration zone. Other than recent food supplies provided by the government, the Front is self sustainable.
One day before the 18th Front moves from the Pre-Concentration Zones to the designated UN Transition Zone, its members watch a news report detailing the delays in construction of UN Transition Zones across the country. The Front is concerned that their Transition Zone will not be complete for at least another two months. According to the accords, they must leave the Transitition Zone at the end of May after handing over their weapons to UN monitors. No is sure what will happen if they aren't able to move into the camp until March or April. Each day, members of the Front watch news reports for an hour.
Natalie has her hair braided by other members of the 18th Front in anticipation for the move to the UN Transition Zone, located within the hamlet of Santa Lucia, later that day.
Lamona waits with other members of the 18th Front of the FARC for orders to descend the hill from their camp for the last time. Rather than group together, the Front staggered their forces along the trail, sending down smaller groups at a time.
Members of the 18th Front are responsible for bringing everything from their camp through the jungle trails down to the waiting chivas, or traditional buses. This includes a satellite dish, a refrigerator, tables, beds, cooking equipment, and everything else needed in the Pre-Concentration Zone. The move from the camp took several hours.
Members of the Front descend the steep trail from their campsite to the chivas, or traditional buses, waiting to take them to the UN Transition Zone.
After coming down from the Pre-Concentration camps, the guerrillas are met with chaotic scenes as they load themselves and their belongings on to the various forms of transportion. UN observers, police and official government representatives record the Front's departure.
Animals are taken with the Front from the Pre-Concentration Zone to the UN Transition Zone.
Loaded Chivas, or traditional buses, wait for the all clear before they take the front to the UN Transition Zone in Santa Lucia.
These three chivas, or traditional buses, transport about 120 members of the FARC's 18th Front from the Quedabra Del Medio Pre-Concentration Zone to the UN Transition Zone in the hamlet of Santa Lucia. One week earlier, a dump truck carrying supplies for the UN Transition Zone rolled off the side of the road, plunging more than 150 metres to the valley floor.
Excited crowds in the hamlet of Santa Lucia greet these members of the 18th Front with white flags representing peace, as their chivas arrive at the entrance of the temporary UN Transition Zone.
Members of the 18th Front line up to register with United Nations Monitors in a temporary UN Transition Zone in the hamlet of Santa Lucia. The Front currently has about 250 registered members. UN observers, police and official government representatives are present.
Members of the Santa Lucia community gather outside the perimeter of the temporary UN Transition Zone to watch as the guerrillas of the 18th Front register with the UN monitors. Excluding the church and school, the entire Santa Lucia community was burned to the ground by right-wing paramilitaries in 2000, and its residents have been displaced en masse five times during the 52-year-long armed conflict.
According to the chronology stipulated in the peace accords, the FARC will be putting down their weapons for good within the UN Transition Zones by May. The 18th Front has completed and submitted a spreadsheet of all the weapons to be seized by the UN. The 18th Front has acquired weapons sourced from more than 10 countries.
The 18th Front now camps in tents between the temporary Transition Zone where they registered with the state, and the construction site of the official UN Transition Zone, which they were supposed to occupy on February 1.
Delays have been common across the country. Although the state assures this site will be completed in one month, many are skeptical and believe it may take upwards of two to three more months.
Now that the 18th Front of FARC has moved into the transitory zone, Paramilitaries have been reported in surrounding areas as recently as February 10. Residents worry that the absence of the FARC will create ideal conditions for a reemergence of these opportunistic groups. In 2000, the village of Santa Lucia, located within eyesight of this camp, was burned to the ground by right wing paramilitaries. The last time the FARC attempted to transition to a political group was in the mid 1980's, resulting in the murder of 4,000 to 6,000 leftist party members.
Between the delayed construction time, and the reemergence of these groups, the Front expects that all agreements within the peace accord will be followed, and that peace is indeed possible.