Going over my photos from our early October visit to Colombia, I found this one, taken on October 3 from our car window, while driving through the hamlet of La Esmeralda, between Arauquita and Saravena, Arauca. This area is heavily under the influence of the ELN guerrilla group.
An unremarkable photo of a tidy small-town street. Until you zoom in:
You’ve got a mom and 2 cute kids, some street-sweeping equipment—and, below the window on the right, some stenciled ELN graffiti.
A tranquil scene, marred by a message from a group responsible for, by all accounts we heard, the largest share of Arauca’s 130-plus homicides so far this year.