An alliance was proposed between several Colombian departments in order to identify some 1,000 nameless bodies that over the years have been swept down the river Cauca and lie in cemeteries across the region.
Authorities in the south central departments of Risaralda and Belalcázar (Caldas) joined a group of national institutions including the Prosecution, the Police and the Army who, since January, have formed the Human Rights Collective of Colombia’s coffee producing axis.
The Collective aims to put an end to the suffering of hundreds of families whose relatives were ‘disappeared’ throughout the North Valley region since 1982 to the present, reported newspaper El Tiempo on Friday.
“We want these victims to have legal and social support … what matters most is to identify the bodies of more than 1,100 people who have been buried across the area,” stated the director of the Collective, Carlos Orozco.
According to Human Rights authorities the identification process must begin with a sweep to locate relatives of missing persons who could be buried in the innumerable anonymous graves throughout the region.
Initial calculations reveal that the collection of information regarding relatives could take up till June next year, which would mean that the exhumation of bodies would not begin until then.
The process is allegedly delicate because those responsible are reluctant to give false hope to families of missing relatives.
A delegate of the Human Rights Unit of the vice presidency emphasized that while “we cannot make commitments about the date of the identification nor the recovery of the bodies, but we can generate confidence in the capacity of the regional authorities.”
The delegate also said that similar processes are being carried out in the regions of the Pacific coast of the Cauca Valley and northern Santander.