“So many years waiting to come home and still they threaten us”
Ezequiel is a 65-year-old rural dweller. He is known for always wearing a sombrero that belonged to his father. He has always had strong ties to his homeland, since his family has lived in the area for generations. These ties, he says, are what drives him to do whatever he can to defend his right to live there. Many years ago, military checkpoints were set up in the area, but paramilitary forces and other armed groups still remained. In 2002, he was forced to leave. Years later, he managed to return and created a “humanitarian zone” to protect his community, which armed groups are not allowed to enter. This has led to his being threatened and he has received numerous leaflets that single him out specifically.
Ezequiel was allocated a bulletproof vest and a mobile phone; he responded by saying that the protection should be given to the area and his community. According to the National Protection Unit, Ezequiel rejected the measures provided.