This is what it's like to spend 20 years as a guerrilla fighter in the jungle

Colombians celebrate their country's peace agreement between the government and FARC rebels
(Image credit: GUILLERMO LEGARIA/Getty Images)

Deadly fighting has raged in Colombia for 52 years, pitting the government in Bogotá against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) — but all that is about to change. The two sides signed a deal in August, instituted a cease-fire, and will put the peace agreement to a popular vote on Oct. 2. If the agreement is ratified, FARC guerrillas will be given six months to turn in their weapons and rejoin the broader society.

One of those guerrillas is 33-year-old Yurluey Mendoza, who spent the last two decades of her life fighting in the jungle and now is the subject of a striking profile at The Washington Post:

Talking to Yurluey was like meeting someone who had stepped out of a time machine. She has never used the internet, never seen the ocean, never been to the movies or ridden a bicycle. ... Her right thigh had a divot from a combat wound, the bullet just missing bone. Her right eardrum was blown out in another bombing, one of six she survived.She went several days without eating sometimes, she said: "There are times when you can't walk from so many blisters, or your backpack chafes off your skin. Or you have to step over the bodies of comrades, who you love like family, when they fall."Like a lot of guerrillas, she spoke in the language of doctrine. The FARC's enemies were "the oligarchy." The United States was "the empire." The guerrilla army was "the movement." [The Washington Post]

Read the rest of the profile here.

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.