In this episode of the Seeking Peace podcast, the show brings listeners to the front lines of the peace process in Colombia. In 2016, after more than 50 years of war against the government, Colombia’s largest left-wing rebel group — the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC — agreed to lay down their weapons. They had started fighting in the 1960s over land rights for the poor, but became known for bombings and kidnappings. Now that the rebels have ceased fighting, former insurgents are working to remake their lives. Reporters and Pulitzer Center grantees Verónica Zaragovia and Laura Dixon spent months meeting former rebels, and they tell the story of two women whose lives look drastically different now that the armed struggle is over.
Also in this episode, you’ll hear from the first woman to be elected president in any African country, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. President Sirleaf took office at a pivotal time in Liberia’s history, as it was emerging from a decades-long conflict. As president, she successfully led her country to a sustained peace, which is an incredible feat. Half of all peace agreements break down within the first five years. Seeking Peace spoke to Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf about how she and the women of Liberia did it.