Enforced disappearance victims’ relatives pay tribute to their loved ones

Between May 24th and 28th is the commemoration of the Enforced Disappeared Detainee Week. The Unit for the Victims will support the initiatives of 22 enforced disappearance victims’ organizations in 16 country regions.

Bogotá, D.C.Bogotá, D.C.

Enforced disappearance has historically affected Colombian society. For this reason, each year the Disappeared Detainee Week is commemorated as solidarity call to those who have suffered this event, to the victims’ dignity and the search for non-repetition.

In the Single Registry of Victims (RUV in its Spanish acronym) there are 50,412 registered people who have been directly affected by the victimizing act of enforced disappearance, and 135,431 affected in an indirect manner, that is, those who have a first-degree consanguinity or civil relative who is disappeared.

Of these aid subjects by the Unit, 89.5% correspond to men, 10.4% are women and 0.1% are population with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities (OSIGD in its Spanish acronym). 2.1% self-recognize as black or Afro-Colombian people, 0.8% as indigenous and 0.9% have some disability or limitation.

"This commemoration is an opportunity to remind society that we have the commitment to aid enforced disappearance and homicide relatives in a psychosocially manner at different times of the search, from the moment the official complaint begins, to the sample collection for genetic identification, the recovery process, the progress socialization by competent entities, until the dignified corpses delivery,” said Ramon Rodriguez, the Unit for the Victims General Director.

Since 2012, 2,927 remains have been delivered and 472 processes have been carried out to search, locate, recover and identify corpses. The Unit for the Victims, with the support of State institutions and victims' organizations, has aided 10,171 family members in the dignified delivery process. Likewise, since 2017 it has provided support to 1,670 family members in the search for their loved ones.

The director added that "because of this victimizing event, an approximate number of 62,553 people have received their financial compensation for a value close to $497,000 million COP."

During this year, strengthening workshops have been held for family members on the different routes for the search and rights’ restoration, this has happened with the participation of 128 members of four organizations in the departments of Cordoba, Valle del Cauca, Cauca and Bogota.

Similarly, the Unit for the Victims has supported 112 commemorations led by victims' organizations and continues to provide spaces to spread the truth of what happened, supporting symbolic acts, tributes and public recognition aimed at improving enforced disappearance victims and relatives’ dignity in different regions of the country, helping to make their voices heard, to enhance their loved ones’ memory and to communicate their wishes for a search that continues.