Skip to content

Deadly silence: 92,000 Columbians remain missing

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation
9/1/2014 (3 years 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 (3 years 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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


More Americas

Priest: Adoration has made Juarez safer Watch

Image of Adoration changes people and parishes.

Juarez, located in the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, was considered from 2008 to 2010 to be one of the the most dangerous cities ... continue reading


A message of HOPE amid Puerto Rico's hurricane disaster Watch

Image of Puerto Rican bishops [not pictured] offer message of hope after hurricanes

The Puerto Rican bishops' conference issued a message of hope to Puerto Ricans after Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed much of the U.S. ... continue reading


Prayers for Puerto Rico - Residents without food, water or electricity as some facilities reopen Watch

Image of People walk though flooded streets in the aftermath of Maria. Several places remain flooded.

The situation in Puerto Rico remains dire as the first shipments of food arrive. The island has been without power, or drinkable water ... continue reading


With so many earthquakes, is California next? Watch

Image of Simulations by the USGS suggest a major quake could devastate all of Southern California, from the Salton Sea to Bakersfield.

A series of earthquakes around the Ring of Fire has sparked curiosity. Except for a relatively tiny earthquake in Los Angeles on September ... continue reading


Pope Francis asks the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe following quake in Mexico Watch

Image of Pope Francis has asked the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

On Wednesday, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the people of Mexico after they suffered a devastating earthquake Sept. 19, asking ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.