Remember Me

25th April, 2015, Yopal city, Colombia. The COSPACC (Social Corporation for Community Advisory and Training Services) called to a meeting in memory of the victims and the missing people in Casanare department. While the people progressively arrive in the place, the rain is getting heavier. Dozens of placards representing the portrait of missing people have been set up on the square. Some of the pancards brave the rain, and the water spots slide slowly on the victim’s faces. Others begin to dissolve their colors and disappear. The atmosphere is sad and melancholic.

The COSPACC was established in 2002 by surviving members of a peasant farmer movement from Casanare. In the 1990’s, they escape from the persecution of Colombian military forces. Between 1986 and 2007, 2.553 people were disappeared or killed in Casanare. The Prosecutor General’s Office admit at the end of 2008 that 1.375 people died in the cases of so-called “falses positives”, innocent people killed by army or police to “make numbers” in the fight against guerillas. Almost of these cases take place after 2004. Others victims were killed by armed groups like the paramilitaries forces from 1992. Today, the murders of civilian opponents continue. The environmentalist Daniel Abril was killed the13th November, 2015.

The situation in Casanare is only an example of the issue that Colombia lives for decades. The Unity for Victims, a public institution in charge for the attention and reparation of victims, gives an impressive data. Between 1985 and 2012, 30.141 cases of forced disappearances have been reported. But according to the National Center for Historical Memory it’s only an approximate number. Today, it is still difficult to report the real magnitude, intensity, frequency of the forced disappearances as well the various dynamics that lead it. With the peace talks, Colombia is preparing itself to the national reconciliation. But it’s still remembered between 3.000 and 5.000 people killed from the political movement Union Patriotica, created in the 1980’s at the time of other peace talks to give a political space for the social and peasant leaders as well as for the demobilized guerrilleros. Today, for the families, keeping alive the memory of the faces with these portraits is all the more important that it makes possible the battle against amnesia and same situations.