In the past, December has seen the highest number of rebel demobilizations, though FARC leaders tell their followers that they will be killed if they turn themselves in.
This Christmas season, the “Mother’s Voice” campaign (see video below) re-tells real-life stories of about 30 mothers whose children are members of the FARC. Each poster shows a real family picture of one of today’s armed fighters as an innocent child, with the mother’s message: “Before you were a guerrilla, you were my son.” Ads end with the line, “This Christmas, we’re waiting for you at home. Demobilize.”
Last year, during “Operation Christmas,” (see video below) army units in Blackhawk helicopters dropped in on a supply path that the guerrillas are known to use and picked ten 80+-foot trees to decorate with sparkling blue lights. The trees were rigged with motion sensors that turned the lights on when someone walked by. A banner next to it said, “If Christmas can come to the jungle, you too can come home. Demobilize. At Christmas, everything is possible.” Its planning and execution took four days.