chapter  13
11 Pages


It was an overcast day in Colombia’s southern jungles, and the lush, grassy hills that roll toward the mountains in the west seemed covered in rebels. Their tents stretched for miles, and guerrillas clad in dark green fatigues and assault rifles draped over their shoulders milled about with the casual flair of family members on vacation. Some lay in the grass, staring at the sky. Others poked sticks into the ground that held the ponchos above their heads and protected them from the incessant rain. Some of the fighters were in their thirties, others in their early teens. They all had the dry look that you frequently see on guerrillas’ faces: tired of the sun beating down on them, the rain dripping overhead, the jungle leaves scratching their cheeks, the mosquitoes biting their necks, the lack of sleep, and the boredom. There were no smiles for me as I passed by them on the dirt road, leaving dust on their scant belongings. They were bored, and they were angry.