Ildefonso

58 Years Old
From Antioquia

Demobilized in 1990 from EPL

Ildefonso comes from the old guard of guerrillas. He followed in the footsteps of his two older brothers by joining the EPL during his University years. Ildefonso recalls that the 80s were the romanticized days of guerrilla groups, the mythical figure of El Che, and a time when people believed fighting was the way to change Colombian society. 

However, after commanding a guerrilla unit, Ildefonso demobilized when he recognized that war was not going to alter society. After demobilizing, he joined the country’s very first reintegration program, which allowed him to finish his studies. 

Ildefonso is now a leader of the men and women in the process of reintegration, even advising the Bogota Mayor’s and President’s office. He strongly believes that what former fighters learned on the battlefield can be used to improve society; how to follow orders, work hard, and be loyal.

Colombia has learned to live with war, and that is very dangerous. Ironically enough, many people live off of war, which is the only thing that pays in many parts of the country.