From cocaine dealing and terrorism to fund their pursuit of territory to haute couture and instant respectability. It may sound bizarre but clothes designed by people ex-members of the Columbian terrorist group, the FARC have turned up on the catwalk in Bogata.
Not sure how you feel about it, but the crowds at the launch of the label called 'Chance by Colombia' seemed more than happy to enjoy a runway show that looked like something straight out of London, Paris, Milan or New York
The 'Liberty' collection is the work of 4 guerrillas who used to be members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – known as the FARC - a group which is almost 50 years old. Alvaro Perez was the 'tailor' who made the uniforms and he left the group in 2006. Now he employs 26 former FARC members.
The fashion design scheme was dreamt up by the government to provide jobs for those who wanted to lay down arms. The FARC group has recently renounced the abduction of civilians as their main way of funding their actions and they've released several hostages as a result. It's also been pretty much weakened by Columbia's military which is backed by the US. So in the coming years you might just hear of more schemes like this where former fighters make a legal & non-violent contribution to normal society.
I'm Marverine Cole. That's all from me for now but for more news check out our website: ibtimes.co.uk