Leaders of the Soacha community in the south of Bogotá took up
megaphones Thursday to warn their neighbors about suspicious labor deals that
may be part of a scheme to recruit unemployed poor young men for
illegal armed groups.
The community leaders also called on the people of one of Bogotá’s poorest neighborhoods not to be seduced by seemingly attractive, but shady job offers after young men from nineteen families in the Coacha and Ciudad Bolivar disappeared. Eleven were found dead earlier this week in the north east of Colombia, almost 500 miles away from home.
The inhabitants of the neighborhoods were also asked to alert the authorities whenever they see anything they consider suspicious.
Many parents in the poor south of Bogotá are gripped by fear their boys may disappear to be later found dead. “We are afraid to let them go to college, so we keep them inside,” Claudia Valderrama, one of the worried mothers told Canal Caracol.
The parents’ fear is fueled by the recent appearance of paramilitary graffitis in the neighborhood.
The community has called on the police and the army to increase their presence in the poor south of Colombia’s capital.