Escudo de Colombia y texto de la Unidad para las Víctimas

22 years since the Barrancabermeja massacre, relatives commemorate their victims on a special day

This event is named “Voices of resilience” and includes a eucharist, photographic exhibition, reading of a document and a tree planting session, among others.

On February 28th, 1999, members of the Santander and South Cesar Self-Defense Forces murdered eight people and other two disappeared in the Provivienda and Versalles neighborhoods, as well as in the Ecopetrol Nautical Club in Barrancabermeja (Santander). In the same events, two other people were injured.

To commemorate the loved ones who died or disappeared, their relatives will carry out a series of events and activities at Provivienda neighborhood (the place where three people were murdered that day). The commemoration will begin this Sunday with a eucharist led by Monsignor Ovidio Giraldo Velasquez, bishop of the Barrancabermeja Diocese.

A photographic gallery will be set up after the religious service and a central document will be read later. This reading will also feature some family members words and greetings from the organizations that support and attend this dignity space. Afterwards, a musical interpretation will take place by the educational institution Juan Francisco Sarasti Jaramillo’s students, who created a song for that moment.

“On this occasion, the Unit for the Victims joins this commemoration supplying materials to build 12 planters, where guayacan trees will be grown. In the same manner, the February 28th Collective requested support to print calendars with representative images about the victims’ memory and dignity,” said Amparo Chicue Cristancho, the Unit for the Victims’ Territorial Director in Magdalena Medio.

Additionally, the entity will deliver a commemorative plaque and 12 acrylic plaques with the direct victims’ names.

This space, which the Barrancabermeja Mayor’s Office also sponsors, will culminate with the bushes planting for the living memory of the February 28th events’ victims.

This commemoration is a construction, reconciliation, resilience and peace exercise. It was suggested by the victims, who organized the agenda from the beginning to the end.

“We always seek to build memory, so our victims are never forgotten. We also want to vindicate their names and that such things never happen again,” said Ligia Ramirez, a relative of Jesus Daniel Gil, one of the people murdered.

Repair advances

The Unit for the Victims has given compensations through administrative channels worth more than $86 million COP to survivors.

Historically, the entity has ordered 68 judicial compensation payments worth of $1,662,095,968 COP; 54.4% were delivered between 2018 and 2019.

On the other hand, during President Duque’s Government, 22 payments of judicial compensation have been ordered worth of $528,425,131 COP in this municipality.

Humanitarian Aid and Care

30 money transfers have been made for a value of $14,985,000 COP to forced displacement victims’ households involved this massacre.

Likewise, 18.4% of this total was delivered in 2018.

Psychosocial approach

A total of 2,462 people have been assisted through the Barrancabermeja rehabilitation measure; 78.6% are women.

(End/CMC/COG/RAM)

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