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Stunning Portraits Of What Female Guerillas Carry In Their Bags

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    Photo: Federico Rios


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    For five decades, Colombia's military and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, an armed guerrilla group better known as the FARC, have been engaged in one of the world's longest-running civil conflicts.

    But unlike in many bloody wars across the globe, women have been on the front lines. They're estimated to make up about 30% of the group's fighting force.

    "Women do everything, they don't have different roles than men," Colombian documentary photographer Federico Rios told Refinery29. "They are leaders, fighters, dreamers, and FARC members."

    Rios spent weeks embedded in the FARC's jungle camps, meeting female commanders and soldiers. His goal was to "photograph the human condition, the daily life."

    One result of his work was a series of photos showing what female soldiers carry with them in their bags. In addition to guns, radios, and GPS equipment, Rios found that the women packed everyday necessities and the comforts of home, like perfumes and makeup.

    Many of those female guerrillas hope they will soon be able to unpack those belongings for good, as peace talks between the group and the government enter their third year. But negotiations aimed at bringing an end to the conflict that has left more than 220,000 people dead and millions more more displaced have stalled in recent months.

    "All FARC members, men and women, hope for the signing of an agreement with the Colombian government soon," Rios said.

    Ahead, Rios' powerful photos women fighting in the FARC and the things they carry into combat.

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  2. Photo: Federico Rios


  3. Photo: Federico Rios


  4. Photo: Federico Rios


  5. Photo: Federico Rios


  6. Photo: Federico Rios