Eric Fichtl


<p>A boy cycling through town.</p>
<p>Two soldiers guard a street corner in central Tame, a town in Colombia's war-ravaged Arauca department. Their presence was part of an attempt to hold the town after it was reclaimed from guerrillas. <br /></p><p>They are laughing at a joke my colleague made about the relative size of their weapons – indeed, the US M60 carried by the soldier at left is a hefty machine gun often fired by a team of two or three gunners, while the soldier at right carries a more standard-issue Galil, an Israeli derivative of the infamous Soviet/Russian AK-47. </p>
<p>Jorge Bernal was mayor of the rural town of Tame in 2003, when my colleague Garry Leech and I interviewed him about the war engulfing his region. Here he shrugs off a fax from the FARC guerrillas denouncing him as a 'narcoparamilitary'.<br /></p>
<p>Two soldiers on sentry duty in Tame, Arauca. Both men were part of Colombia's 'Soldados de mi pueblo' initiative, which inducted locally born men into military service in their own communities in an attempt to bolster security. </p>
<p>Colombian national police round up unfamiliar faces in Tame, Arauca.</p>
<p>Soldiers from the Colombian Army's Navos Pardo Battalion, based at Tame in the eastern Colombian state of Arauca. Tasked with securing the town and surrounding countryside against guerrilla and paramilitary presence, members of the battalion were implicated in a massacre at the indigenous reserve of Betoyes in May 2003. <br /></p>
<p>A razpachin (coca plucker) holds handfuls of the innocuous leaves that, after several steps of processing, can become cocaine.</p>
<p>Two well-armed national police officers patrol the streets of Tame, passing sun-beaten election murals for the then-mayor.</p>
<p>A Colombian soldier with his pet spider monkey.</p>
<p>Soldiers secure a parade in Tame, a rural town rocked by the violence of Colombia's civil war. </p>
<p>A Colombian Army soldier charges ahead. </p>