A Colombian soldier stands at the entrance to a bunker belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in a rural zone in Puerto Rico, Colombia, on July 25, 2009. The Marxist Colombian guerrilla group, founded in 1964, is South America's largest insurgency. It claims to support the rural poor in the struggle against the wealthy. The group also strongly opposes American influence in Colombia. Luis Ramirez/AFP/Newscom/File
Supporters of late FARC movement leader, Manuel Marulanda, place flowers on a bust portraying him in a square in a low-income Caracas neighborhood, on March 26, 2009, to commemorate the first anniversary of his death. Marulanda - also known as 'Tirofijo,' or 'Sure-shot' - and his partner Jacobo Arenas founded the group. Despite a $5 million bounty on his head by the US, Marulanda was never captured. Thomas Coex/AFP/Newscom/File
During a Sept. 7, 2009, press conference at the Defense Ministry in Bogota, a Colombian soldier watches a video made to prove that police officer Carlos Rojas, currently a hostage of FARC, was still living. Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Newscom/File
In this picture taken on Jan. 14, 2002 in Los Pozos, Colombia, FARC leaders Joaquin Gomez (l.) and Raul Reyes (c.) speak on the radio with FARC founder Manuel Marulanda. Reyes was killed in a 2008 military operation in Ecuador. His replacement as a member of the FARC Secretariat, Gomez, is thought to be responsible for collecting revenues for the organization generated by narcotrafficking. Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
This undated handout picture, released Nov. 12, 2009 by Colombia's National Police, shows four armed FARC female rebels posing with an unidentified girl, also holding an assault rifle, somewhere in the mountains of Colombia. The picture was found on a FARC guerrilla fighter's body, police said. Colombian National Police/AFP/Newscom/File
Former hostage Ingrid Betancourt, accompanied by her nephew, her sister Astrid Betancourt, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, and Pierre Schapira, appears before the public at Paris Town Hall on July 4, 2008 to celebrate her release from FARC rebels. The French/Colombian politician was captured in 2002 while campaigning in rebel-controlled areas. Mehdi Taamallah/ABACAPRESS.COM/Newscom/File
Colombian soldiers and police officers collect evidence at the site of an explosion in the Colombian port city of Buenaventura on March 24. At least five people were killed and 18 wounded after a car bomb exploded near the city hall, civilian and military sources said. The commander of the Colombian Armed Forces, General Freddy Padilla, initially said it 'certainly was the FARC.' Buenaventura, one of Colombia's poorest cities, faces daily challenges from rebels, drug traffickers, and other criminals. Luis Robayo/AFP/Newscom
This picture, taken on Nov. 29, 2005 in Manizales, Colombia, shows former congressman Oscar Lizcano (c.) flanked by two FARC guerrillas in a videotape sent by the FARC. Lizcano was rescued by Colombia's army on October 26, 2008, after being held captive for more than six years by rebels, a government official said. TV/AFP/Newscom
Colombian soldiers stand next to tables with thousands of seized cartridges put on display on May 6, 2009, in Medellin, Colombia. Authorities in the municipality of Granada seized 20,000 cartridges of different calibers, six AK-47 rifles, and 16 grenades that belonged to the Ninth Front of the FARC. Raul Arboleda/AFP/Newscom/File
A Colombian policeman searches for members of the FARC during an operation in Cauca in the southwest of Colombia, on Feb. 24. The Colombian police seized 20 tons of marijuana and detained 13 allegedly members of the FARC, police sources said. Xinhua/Newscom
According to the Colombian government, the FARC had between 6,000 and 8,000 members in 2008, down from 16,000 in 2001. Zuma/Newscom
A man walks next to a poster with a picture of Colombian military man Luis Alfonso Beltran, kidnapped by the FARC 11 years ago, on a street of Cali, Valle del Cauca departament, Colombia, on Dec. 11, 2009. Luis Robayo/AFP/Newscom/File
Colombian police officers inspect the wreckage of a pickup truck allegedly burned by FARC guerrillas after kidnapping Luis Francisco Cuellar, governor of Colombia’s southern department of Caqueta, on the route to San Vicente del Caguan on Dec. 22, 2009. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe launched a massive operation to release the governor, sending in the army to try to free him and 24 troops also held captive. Cuellar's body was later found by local villagers. La Nacion/AFP/Newscom/File
Biologist Álvaro Cogollo draws on Colombia's native vallenato music to inspire a love for his country's biodiversity.
ByAutumn Spanne, Contributor
As a boy growing up on a farm near the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Álvaro Cogollo loved the forest. His grandfather taught him the common names of the plants, trees, and animals, and Mr. Cogollo would disappear for hours with a notebook, recording the explosion of life he found there.