It is common to see people with military court on the streets of Puerto El Carmen. They are burly, they wear t-shorts and jeans. They frequent the few grocery stores of the place or bars. Inhabitants of this small town of Sucumbios, which borders Colombia, say that those people are FARC guerrillas fighters. People do not mess with them; The last three weeks, the rumor that in this area of Ecuador a new irregular armed group operates causes greater fear. The peasants settled on the riverbanks of the San Miguel and Putumayo rivers, speak of an “Ecuadorian guerrilla.” Even they say that would be composed by criminal gangs and FARC dissidents. Since July, three violent attacks aimed at people living or working in Puerto El Carmen are attributed to this group.
Daily El Comercio came to this border town located 188 kilometers from Lago Agrio, on the border with Colombia. About 3 000 people live there. 60% is native of Colombia and the rest of Ecuador. The heat and the humidity are intense. Villagers wear shorts, shirts and light blouses. The military, with their camouflage uniforms, rifles, helmets and bulletproof vests walk the streets as part of their everyday life.