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Monday, 07 August 2017 00:00

My experience in the National Protection Unit

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By: Angelmiro López Pabón, FARC-EP

I felt pride when the leadership of the unit to which I belonged to let me know that it was going to be part of the part of the staff that would take the safety and protection course with the National Protection Unit.

That was an honor for me, because my destiny would be to respond for the safety of our leaders, a true privilege. But in the midst of joy I had a concern: those who would take care of our preparation were staff belonging to the State itself; I didn’t know how I would do in a qualification school led by those who in the past were our adversaries in war.

When the time comes, we must leave for the course. Before leaving the Zone, we said goodbye to our beloved commander Timo, and then we took the road in bad condition that unites the town of Tibú. On the road we ended up covered in mud up to our knees while pushing the cars that were supposed to transport us. Three hours later we arrived to the airport.

Once on the plane the nerves did not stop. It was the first time I had been traveling in such a machine, and at the same time I did not stop thinking about the course that I was going to take, about the need for me to do my best. That prevented me from appreciating the landscape from the window. At five in the afternoon we were in the capital of the country.

I felt joy to be in Bogota. Laura and Laura Sarita live there, the woman and the girl that I love the most in my life. I was happy to know that we were breathing the same air. The contrast of the climates was huge, in Caño Indio the climate was like a baking heat, while now in Bogotá it was beginning to feel very cold. I told myself it was the first obstacle I had to overcome. I confirmed it when we were taken to Facatativa, to where the school is, where the cold was even greater.

The arrival at the National Protection Unit School and the knowledge of the instructors represented something unexpected for me. We felt welcomed and greeted by very simple and kind people, humble people of Colombian, just like us who had been FARC-EP guerrillas.

From then on I see myself forced to acknowledge the constant concern of the body of instructors for us. It is true that they are State officials, but I must emphasize that they have made a great effort to train us, men and women, as authentic members of the National Protection Unit. I became fond with the academy of the National Protection Unit and its instructors, which led me to compose a song I titled “WE ARE ALL BROTHERS”. When I interpreted it in rhythm of rap, I felt how much they liked my gesture.

Now I dare say that the most important achievement of Colombia in recent times has been to stop the bleeding that it has suffered. The war between brothers of the same homeland did great harm to us all. What we have to do now is to peacefully struggle for the Agreements to be complied with. The Agreements don’t belong to the FARC, but to all Colombians. Peace is the greatest good of any people. The coexistence and the joint work with the staff of the academy have helped me to understand it better.

The invitation is to defend the Havana Agreements, to fight together for their fulfillment. This will definitely guarantee peace in our country. Let us not allow war to return, we all have the right to live in peace, in a complete peace.

The chorus of my song goes like this: Brothers and sisters let us all sing / for Colombia and for peace / we will leave this school / as an example of unity.

Long live Colombia and long live peace, may the war die forever.

Facatativa, August 5, 2017

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