Only Women and Children Live in This War-Torn Village
Colombia’s civil war killed all the men in La Puria, an indigenous village still grappling with the conflict’s consequences.
In Colombia’s mountainous northwest, three hours’ walk from the closest town over paths haunted by guerrillas, lies the village of La Puria. It’s home to around a hundred indigenous Emberá Katío people. In their language, ẽberá can mean human being, indigenous person, or man.
But there are no men here.
Colombia’s decades-long civil war has eroded La Puria. Some men were recruited by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) or the National Liberation Army (ELN), the country’s two largest leftist guerrilla groups. Others were victims of the conflict, as both guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries made use of violent tactics—including kidnapping, setting land mines, and drug trafficking.
Now women, children, and teen mothers are the only ones left in La