Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

9/1/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4,000 graves have been discovered and 5,000 bodies found

More than 92,000 Colombians have disappeared during 50 years of war and at the hands of drug gangs, and the government needs to step up efforts to find missing people, the Red Cross said.

Around 4,000 graves have been discovered and 5,000 bodies found, following the confessions of scores of paramilitary warlords.

Around 4,000 graves have been discovered and 5,000 bodies found, following the confessions of scores of paramilitary warlords.

Highlights

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/1/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Colombia, mising persons, mass graves, FARC, rebels


(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Every day nine people are reported missing in Colombia. Of the total number of those registered as missing over the years, nearly 70,000 remain missing without trace, according to the government's official register.

Many are victims of five decades of armed conflict between government troops, right-wing paramilitary groups and leftist rebels, while others are victims of ongoing drug-turf wars.

SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --

"The problem of missing people in Colombia is as widespread as it is silent," Jordi Raich, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Colombia said in a statement on Friday.

"We know many have disappeared because of the conflict and armed violence. The uncertainty and suffering of families which comes from not knowing the whereabouts of their loved ones is unacceptable."

Government forensic teams and around 20 state prosecutors from the attorney-general's office are searching for the disappeared and exhuming bodies across Colombia.

The Colombian government offers up to $8,600 in compensation for relatives of those who have disappeared as a result of the conflict, and it recently adopted a protocol on handing back bodies to relatives to ensure they are honored properly and their rights to a private or public funeral respected.

But the government must do more to find and identify the tens of thousands of people missing in Colombia, raise awareness about the largely invisible problem, and make it easier for relatives of the missing to seek and get help from authorities, the ICRC in Colombia said. 

WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED

A possible government peace accord with the Marxist FARC rebels might help throw light on some of the forced disappearances. Peace talks between the two sides have been under way in Havana, Cuba, since November 2012 in a bid to end the war, though fighting continues.

A peace deal might persuade rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to identify where bodies are buried, and might also encourage people who have never reported disappearances to come forward, rights groups say.

Earlier this month, twelve victims from all sides of the Colombian conflict, including relatives of those who have disappeared, addressed peace negotiators in Havana, marking the first time victims have been given a voice in peace talks to end a war that has killed over 200,000 civilians and displaced 5. 7 million Colombians.

They urged the FARC to reveal the whereabouts of mass graves and the truth about what happened to relatives killed and missing.

All warring factions, including state security forces, have been responsible for forced disappearances, according to a report by Colombia's National Centre for Historical Memory published earlier this year.

Over the decades, thousands of innocent people, including trade unionists, poor farmers and other civilians accused of being informers or of sympathizing with rebel groups, were killed by paramilitary groups and dumped in mass graves.

So far, around 4,000 graves have been discovered and 5,000 bodies found, following the confessions of scores of paramilitary warlords who laid down their weapons from 2003 onwards and received maximum eight-year prison sentences in exchange for confessing their crimes.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Americas

FULL SCHEDULE: Pope Francis' itinerary to Mexico Watch

Image of The Mexican trip by the pontiff will address immigration issues, as well as violence stemming from the country's drug cartels.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The full itinerary for Pope Francis' visit to Mexico in February of next year has been announced. The trip by the pontiff will address immigration issues, as well as violence stemming from the country's drug cartels. While in Mexico, Pope Francis will celebrate ... continue reading


TOTALLY defeating Pope's purpose, Mexico City kills puppies, uproots homeless for papal visit Watch

Image of Gang graffiti has been painted over with cheerful murals on the outskirts of Mexico City in time for the papal visit. Photo by EFE.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis has been a tireless advocate for the homeless and kindness to animals - and just in time for his visit to Mexico, officials in Mexico City have gone out to kill stray dogs and relocate the homeless in time for his appearance.    LOS ... continue reading


Pray for Pope Francis' safety: Mexican gangs target priests Watch

Image of Mexico's gangs target priests and nuns who interfere with human rights violations (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Please pray for the safety of not only Pope Francis, but also for the priests and nuns targeted in Mexico. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic Multimedia Center, Mexico has remained the most dangerous country for priests in Latin America for ... continue reading


Pope Francis' greeting to journalists during flight from Rome to Cuba (FULL TEXT: English) Watch

Image of

By Libreria Editrice Vaticana

APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS IN MEXICO WITH PARK IN LA HABANA TO MATCH WITH SS KIRILL, PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA (12-18 February 2016) Father LombardiHoly Father, welcome among us, as always, at the beginning of these beautiful intercontinental ... continue reading


Please join us in prayer: Zika epidemic in Colombia infects THOUSANDS of pregnant women Watch

Image of Zika continues to spread without signs of slowing (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Reports of Zika's spread have been pouring in at clinics and hospitals around Colombia. Sadly, nearly 32,000 pregnant women have tested positive for the potentially devastating virus. Please join us in a short prayer for healing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On ... continue reading


Slain Mexican baby becomes symbol for nation's neverending gang violence Watch

Image of Grim photographs of this slain Mexican family have circulated widely on social media site (Facebook).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An overwhelming tragedy - the random killing of a seven-month-old baby boy - has been galvanized into a symbol of Mexico's rampant gang violence. Little Marcus Migeul Pano Colon, captured in photographs lying down in a city street riddled with bullets has been widely ... continue reading


HUMAN SACRIFICE: Ancient Peruvian tomb yields bodies of six women killed in rituals Watch

Image of Researchers say that the skeletal remains found at a temple were once part of the Lambayeque culture. Photo courtesy of Museo Tumblas Reales de Sipan.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Archaeologists have uncovered grisly evidence of 1,200-year-old sacrificial rituals in Pre-Inca Peru. The skeletons of six females have been discovered on the former site of a temple. The women's murders were believed ritualistic in nature as their bodies were ... continue reading


Soldiers going 'door to door' to combat deadly Zika virus in Brazil Watch

Image of The Zika virus is linked to microcephaly, where children are born with freakishly small heads. (Getty Images)

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has spread rapidly throughout Brazil. The virus is linked to the birth defect microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with smaller than normal heads, along with brain damage. The Brazilian government has sent more than 200,000 ... continue reading


Over 7,000 refugees to arrive in America within the next few days Watch

Image of Cuban migrants cross into Texas to reach freedoms promised in America (AP).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thousands of Cuban refugees seek freedom in the United States by traveling through Central America and crossing the Mexico-Texas border. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Over 7,000 Cuban refugees are expected to illegally cross the Mexican border into the United ... continue reading


You'll never guess what was found in El Chapo's weapon cache! Watch

Image of One type of weapon discovered in El Chapo's cache has the power to down a helicopter (exploding helicopter.blogspot).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Authorities discovered a .50 caliber rifle among a massive weapons cache at Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's Mexican hideout. The rifle is so powerful, it can shoot a helicopter from the sky. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Following the recapture of El Chapo, a ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:9-14
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen to me, Yahweh, answer me, for I am poor and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:27-32
27 When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 13th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine de Ricci
February 13: St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her ... Read More