Eduardo Leal

Documentary Photographer
   
Victims & Heroes
Location: Porto
Nationality: Portuguese
Biography: Eduardo Leal is a Portuguese documentary photographer usually based in Macau, China. Previously he worked for several years in South America. He graduated in Journalism at Escola Superior de Jornalismo (ESJ) and has a Masters in Photojournalism... MORE
Public Story
Victims & Heroes
Copyright Eduardo Leal 2022
Updated Jul 2016
Location Colombia
Topics Blind, Civil Wars, Disability, Documentary, Editorial, Latin America, Paralympics, Peace, Photography, Sports, Victims

Colombia's armed conflict, which started in the 1960s, might be close to an end. After almost four years of negotiations between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly known as FARC, a ceasefire was signed on June 23rd, 2016 and a final agreement was reached on August 24th, 2016, but the peace process is still in the working since a majority of the voters didn't approve the current deal through a referendum held 2nd October 2016.

During the conflict, more than 220,000 people have been killed and close to seven million have been displaced, generating the world's second-largest population of internally displaced. According to a Handicap International survey, 80% of the survivors of the armed struggle in Colombia have a disability.

Maritza, Fábio, Moises, Edwin, Jonathan, German, Joe and Oscar, are only eight of the victims of the conflict that suffer a form of disability, each one with their individual story, each with their own struggle from a traumatic experience that changed the rest of their lives. Through rehabilitation, they have been able to focus on sports to overcome whatever limitation they have and become successful athletes in their own right.

Five of them competed in the 2016 Paralympics games in Rio representing Colombia with three of them reaching the podium.  The others were not able to go to the games or get medals, but they are not less heroes for that; they all represent and are an inspiration for the many other victims of the conflict.

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