Skip to content

Deadly silence: 92,000 Columbians remain missing

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation
9/1/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://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

(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 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2018
For those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters.
That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.


Comments


More Americas

Catholic Relief Services builds hospital in Haiti Watch

Image of The newly rebuilt St. Francis de Sales Hospital in Haiti.

The tremor lasted less than a minute. Dr. Jude Banatte's car was shaking, and then it was not. Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


Cardinal: Consecrate Mexico to Immaculate Heart of Mary Watch

Image of

Facing violence, poverty and corruption, Mexico should be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said Archbishop Emeritus Juan ... continue reading


Researchers discover Amazon basin was once home to a lost civilization of millions Watch

Image of The site of an abandoned village, centuries old, surrounded by earthworks.

Just when we think we know everything, along comes another discovery to surprise us. A surprising study on the Amazon basin reveals that ... continue reading


Married men could soon become priests in the Amazon. What would this mean for the Catholic Church? Watch

Image of The Church estimates there are 7,100 Catholics for every priest in the region.

Catholic leaders in the Amazon basin will meet next year to discuss the challenges they face. Perhaps their most pressing problem is an ... continue reading


Explorers announce discovery of secret Mayan ruins in jungles of Guatemala Watch

Image of The jungle continues to hide ancient cities and secrets, which only now are being rediscovered.

Explorers mapping the jungle cities of the Maya have uncovered 60,000 structures hidden in the jungle, revealing more secrets about the ... 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

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

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 2018 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 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.