Colombia’s armed conflict, which started in the 1960’s, might be close to an end. After almost four years of negotiations between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly known as FARC, a ceasefire was signed on June 23rd 2016 and a final agreement reached on August 24th 2016.
During the conflict more than 220,000 people have been killed and close to seven million have been displaced, generating the world’s second largest population of internal displaced. According to a Handicap International survey, 80% of the survivors of the armed struggle in Colombia have a disability.
Maritza, Fábio, Moises, Edwin, Jonathan, German, Joe and Oscar, are only eight of the victims of the conflict that suffer a form of disability, each one with their individual story, each with their own struggle from a traumatic experience that changed the rest of their lives. Through rehabilitation they have been able to focus in sports to overcome whatever limitation they have, and become successful athletes in their own right.
Five of them will be competing in the 2016 Paralympics games in Rio representing Colombia. Jonathan, Oscar and Joe will not be able to join the games in Rio this time for different circumstances. But they are not less heroes for that; they all represent and are an inspiration for the many other victims of the conflict.