Johemir

Out of War

Who They Are/Their Environment

Johemir was born in Monteria, a large town about ninety miles east of Apartado. He moved away when his mom went to get money on February 1995. She moved back that December after she was done. He had to take care of himself when his mom moved away to get money. He had to make his own food and clean the house. Johemir wouldn't tell anyone that he was living alone, not even his close friends or teachers. He was helping a girl named Juanita when he was sixteen that he met at a barrio (camp) in north west Colombia. There were a bunch of volunteers that were 13 or 14 helping kids mostly under 10 who were forced out of there homes by violence.
Girls and boys were taken from towns that were near where Johemir lived. As you can see in this photo the third person in line is a girl that is fighting. These kids were trained to fight even if they did not want to.

Have they been threatened?

Johemir and His mother have been threatened. After a year of working in la chinta he began getting threats. People told him that he doesn’t belong here and he should leave this town. They also told him that he should watch out for his health. His dad was threatened and then killed. He also knew of others that were threatened.

Events that influenced the person

When he was taking care of Juanita, Johemir found out that her Dad was shot three times by the armed men and then Juanita’s family fled abandoning everything. The shooting of the father made them move because they were afraid that they were gonna be next. If they didn’t move they would have been shot because they knew that the dad was not alone. The death of Johemir’s father influenced them to be part of the peace movement, especially since he was part of their family.


The people in the photo a similar to the ones who killed Juanita's dad.


Promote Change

They continue to fight against the armed men because they believe that kids should not be in the army. On the last page it says how the kids marched through the streets protesting on child soldiers. It stopped traffic because there were so many people marching. Over 300 children marched to show that they didn’t want to fight. I’m kind of surprised that they didn’t open fire on the kids because they were protesting.


What Are They Hoping For In The Future?

Johemir and his mother are hoping to accomplish freedom from war. His mother only wants him to be safe. She sent him away to school so he could learn, be safe, and make friends. Johemir said he went there to study hard and get good grades. The friends that he made helped him to understand his own problems. He had always found it hard to tell them about his past, about how his mother had left him, how his dad had been shot, and how he had to move.