Demobilized Former Guerrillas Introduce ‘Chance by Colombia’ Brand

Demobilized Former Guerrillas Introduce ‘Chance by Colombia’ Brand

By Dialogo
May 14, 2012

An alliance between the Ministry of National Defense and the Colombian Reintegration Agency has given rise to a clothing brand that is now a sustainable alternative for demobilized former members of irregular armed groups. Eighty-two items of clothing form part of the collection with which the brand is being launched.

The first collection of the ‘Chance by Colombia’ brand, a business initiative to offer sustainable support to individuals who have made the decision to demobilize from irregular armed groups, was baptized with the name ‘Freedom.’ This brand was introduced to the country by Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón on May 11.

‘Chance by Colombia’ is a demonstration of how people who previously belonged to irregular armed groups and made the decision to rejoin civilian and productive life can find a path to entrepreneurship and peace-building thanks to state support.

At the same time, it is an opportunity to raise Colombians’ awareness about the importance of supporting those who abandon the path of war and choose the option of building their lives far from the clash of arms.

The best example of entrepreneurship is Álvaro Pérez, who demobilized from the FARC and after his reintegration process set up his own firm. Today Pérez provides jobs to 26 other demobilized people and is the designer of the 82 items of clothing in the collection with which ‘Chance by Colombia’ was introduced.
Jorge García, who demobilized from the self-defense units; Ciro Gómez, who demobilized from the FARC’s Front 42 over seven years ago; and Oscar Rodríguez, a former FARC member who demobilized in 2010, complete the group of designers who created the sample with which the business initiative was launched.

‘Chance by Colombia’ forms part of the activities being carried out as part of the state’s policy to encourage disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration, promoted by the Ministry of National Defense and the Colombian Reintegration Agency.