Government officials in Colombia have announced on July 27th that they will unearth what is believed to be world’s largest urban mass grave, in the slums of western Medellin, as many Colombians know by Comuna 13.
It is a heartbreaking story that so many Colombians have in common, searching for the loved ones.
Relatives of the victims blame on right-wing paramilitary fighters for the disappearance of their loved ones.
Advisor for the mayor of Medellin, Jorge Mejia, told reporters that “For the size of the area, for the number of people who could be buried in this zone… it has been said that this is the largest urban mass grave in the world.”
According to the statement from a spokesperson for the relatives of the missing, Luz Elena Galeano said, “The truth is buried there. We haven’t had any help from the state until now.”
“We have been fighting for to get justice and find out the truth,” said Galeano.
“It’s a drop of hope in a sea of impunity.”
Several of the incarcerated paramilitary warlords have told the state prosecutors during criminal trials that they buried bodies in Comuna 13 slum in 2002. According to the government estimates, up to 90 people were buried in the mass grave in the slum’s upper terraces. On the other hand, rights groups say, about 300 civilians were thrown into mass grave.
According to media, thirty government officials, including forensic teams, will unearth and disclose the mass grave over the next five months.
“We will be there every day watching the whole process,” spokesperson Galeano said.
“If no bodies are found, we will demand that the search continues in other areas of the city.”
According to the government estimates, throughout the South American nation, more than 30,000 people have been “lost” by warring factions during Colombia’s 51 year old war. However, the government authorities have excavated around 6,000 bodies from mass graves until now