A Woman's Simple Secret For Defeating Guerrilla Fighters
Mariela Lopez from llano Grande in Columbia, has just proven that forgiveness is not only possible, but it may just be the answer Colombia needs to finally heal the wounds inflicted from the FARC conflict.
"We need to learn to forgive, because as long as we don’t do that, conflict will continue to live on inside of us."
Mariela is one of the 9 million victims of the FARC armed conflict. In 2015, during the peace dialogues, FARC rebels killed her husband. She has three daughters, now left orphans. However, the crisis only brought out their strengths. Mariela went through a transformation: she decided to open her heart and start a new chapter in their lives.
Since Llano Grande became a FARC transition zone, the school’s population increased. Now, one third of the students are children of former combatants.
Despite the difficulties for her and her family, and the enormous fear of change and post-conflict instability, of the social problems following the peace agreement, she knew that she had to serve as an example not only for her daughters, but also for her students and for all the people around her. Gradually the children learned how to live in harmony. There is no discrimination for being a former guerrilla’s son, or the son of a combatant, or the victim of the conflict. It is a place where many stories of peace and reconciliation can be heard.
"Everyone has to say what they think peace means."
"For me, peace means that there is no more war."
"It means that everyone lives in harmony."
She draws her greatest motivation to continue fighting exactly from those children, these promises of a better generation.
In an imperfect world it is key to recognize that we all make mistakes and start again. One day, hopefully, one could say that in Columbia you can live in peace.