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Brother and Sister, Community of Cabecera

Colored Pencil - 19" x 23"


These two young children are from the community of Cabecera located along the San Juan River in the municipality of Buenaventura.


Cabecera is a predominantly Afro-Colombian community. Like other communities along the river where land is desired by multiple armed actors, the citizens often find themselves in the crosshairs of confrontations between competing groups.


In 2017, 33 families from Cabecera were forcibly displaced due to confrontations between paramilitaries and the guerilla group Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). While displaced, many of these families lived in a coliseum in the city of Buenaventura. After coordinating with local and national authorities to ensure the community’s safe return, 26 of the 33 families began to return to their land in March 2018.


Upon returning, the community established a humanitarian zone that bars all armed actors, including police and military, from entering their land. Community leader Dagoberto Pretelt said it was a “symbolic day” because it means “to be reborn again." These children show this hope.

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