This March 29, the Attorney General’s Office, in conjunction with trainers funded by the United States Department of State, found a mass grave in Bogotá while looking for the remains of a woman who disappeared in 1995, a possible victim of forced disappearance. .
According to the publication of the United States Embassy, the Prosecutor’s Office team transferred the remains to the Human Genetics and Identification Laboratory to continue the investigation.
According to the publication, the objective of the “Technical assistance to the Prosecutor’s Office is to strengthen the capacity to identify and locate clandestine graves, prosecute those responsible, establish the circumstances of the deaths and achieve a dignified and truthful delivery for the surviving family members.”
This operation joins the investigations to identify persons who disappeared during the armed conflict and maintain the work of “Provide truth, reparation and justice to the citizens.”
This exhumation work is due to a request made by the Internal Working Group for the Search and Identification and Surrender of Disappeared Persons (Grube) in January 2021. This unit is part of the Transitional Justice Directorate of the Prosecutor’s Office.
The Spectator contacted the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, an entity that preferred not to pronounce on the matter until full identification of the bodies, contact with the victims and the holding of an event to formally deliver the remains to the families of those buried in that grave . Another piece of information that has not been revealed is the area in which this find is located.
According to Legal Medicine, in the last four years 16,313 people have disappeared in Colombia. While since 2017, some 599 people have forcibly disappeared, In 2019, 193 cases of forced disappearance were registered, including acts of kidnapping or recruitment, natural disaster and human trafficking.
The armed conflict that is being waged in Colombia has left some 120,000 disappeared, according to the Unit for the Search for Missing Persons. A figure almost four times higher than that of the dictatorships of Argentina, Brazil and Chile in the 20th century.
Other mass graves in Colombia
At the beginning of this month, the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) delivered a report in order to contribute to the search for victims of forced disappearance and extrajudicial executions, carried out by the Unit for the Search for Disappeared Persons ( UBPD), as well as the protection of unidentified bodies in cemeteries affected by exceptional health measures due to covid-19 in Antioquia.
The project, supported by Swedish cooperation through the Diakonia organization, focused on the Universal Cemetery Garden of Medellín, where it is presumed the existence of at least 906 buried bodies of unidentified persons and that may correspond to victims of forced disappearance and / or extrajudicial executions.
The report revealed the challenges it poses for the search, the difficulties in managing existing information, as well as the critical state of the cemetery. Among them, the lack of an organized file with all the information on unidentified bodies and identified bodies stands out. undelivered, exhumations and people handed over to families.
Also, gaps in burial licenses and inconsistencies in information on areas, data and figures were evidenced, revealing the need for clear protocols for the presentation of these important elements.
“This report also presents a concrete result of the situation of unidentified people in the Universal Cemetery Garden: it is evident that they have been treated as if these people had no link with their families”, assured the General Director of the Unit for the Search of Persons Given as Disappeared (UBPD), Luz Marina Monzón,