Francisco Rivera Cobo

Age: 49

It's twenty years by now that I fled my village for the mountains, not even bringing food supplies. Over four years we barely survived - at times we ate grass just to stay alive.

When the army took over and re-organized Salquil Grande, I took a risk in coming here. The army sold me this plot in exchange for an obligation to help patrol the area.

We built this house from dirt - it's all adobe; the army gave me some sheet metal for the roof. We had no food, no clothes, but we have been able to improve our lot.

It has been nineteen years by now that the army re-settled this 'model village'. We labor in the field - it's a toil. We also work fields near the coast. A good part of why we're still here is to put the kids through school, so their lives may turn out better - that is what we hope. We wouldn't even be able to pay for basic education which is free here.

Ultimately though we're still the oppressed, the abandoned - we still don't eat much more than salt and herbs. No land, no money, no nothing. This village is very poor.