Seeking safety
5 Images

Mayor in danger

Seeking safety
SEEKING SAFETY: Mayor Cielo Gonzalez, near an attack scene, says her life has been drastically altered: “I can’t do any of the simple things I used to do.” (Luis Hernadez / For the Times)
Protection
Mayor Cielo Gonzalez travels with 10 gun-toting guards, and recently received a gift from President Alvaro Uribe: the most heavily armored SUV in Colombia (Luis Hernadez / For the Times)
Duty calls
Mayor Cielo Gonzalez is one of several dozen mayors and local council members in Huila state who continue in office despite being declared “military targets” - that’s guerrilla parlance for a death sentence - by the dreaded “Teofilo Forero Front“ of the leftist guerrilla group, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. (Luis Hernadez)
Close call
CLOSE CALL: Members of the Colombian National Police examine the scene of a car bombing this month targeting the Neiva mayor. She was unharmed; five were injured. (Luis Hernadez / For the Times)
Targets
Campoalegre city councilman MIlton Cuellar, center, survived an assassination attempt on March 5 by suspected FARC guerrillas . His girlfriend Claudia Fierro, was killed in the attack. He is flanked by fellow councilmen Rodrigo Milano and Giovanni Montenegro, both also threatened by FARC guerrillas. (Luis Hernadez)
1/5