We ran for four hours. They sent nine people after us. We thought they’d find us and kill us.
— Jhon, former child soldier, on his escape from the FARC.
Jhon Hernando stood guard and cooked during his nine-month stint in the FARC, the Marxist guerrilla group founded in 1964. He wanted to leave sooner, but risked being killed if a comrade sought a reward for ratting out his escape plans. Now he earns money cutting hair, a trade he learned while in Colombia’s transitional program for child soldiers.
Learn more about how Mercy Corps is helping Colombia's child soldiers start over in our special report: Reclaiming children of war.