Bodies of the Disappeared

This morning, at the Attorney General’s Office in Medellin, we watched a ceremony for 18 families. Most of them were from our case-study areas in Eastern Antioquia. Each had lost a loved one who had been “disappeared” during the conflict. Many of the disappeared had been missing for more than 10 years.

But now that the Attorney General’s office had performed DNA tests on unidentified bodies, it was returning the remains to the families. It was a beautiful and emotional ceremony. The woman who spoke on behalf of the victims focused on breaking the cycle of violence.

Before each family left, they were given the small coffins containing the remains of their loved ones. Many were planning to take them back to the rural areas where they live. Finally, they would have a funeral. 

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One Response to Bodies of the Disappeared

  1. Lisa says:

    I cannot imagine how painful that is. Even having their remains and being able to put them to rest still leaves so many unanswered questions. We do not fully appreciate the blessings of peace and social order in the U.S., as imperfect as it is. Your work on understanding how communities heal is do important.

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