The murder took place in Quibdo, a town in Chocó, and took the life of José de Jésus Martínez Castañeda, a single, 29-year old worksman, originally from Antioquia.Because of an error in the administration, the official deceased is called Jaime Darío Benítez, also from Antioquia, who now is unable to get pension, insurance or any kind of social security.”They killed me,” Benítez says. “My ID-number is 70.119.177. The number of the late José de Jésus was 70.119.117. Someone confused the one and the seven and now I’m dead.”The assumed murder victim didn’t know he was dead for seven years, until he tried to get a loan from a bank. “The answer was no, because I was dead,” explains Benítez.The problems don Jaime encountered came with many. First of all, he is unable to make appointments with any government body, because of his assumed death. A number of times he almost was arrested, after identifying himself and being accused of swindle. He has also ceased to exist in the company records he worked for since long before being “murdered”. His employer still pays him normally, but they also run the risk of being accused of fraud.The administrative error has cost the welder from Bello lots of money. He’s been forced to make numerous trips to Bogotá, trying to convince the national authorities he was alive and was refused to leave the country when he was able to do a well payed welding job in Brazil; Dead people don’t board airplanes.Don Jaime loves life and being alive and hates being dead, despite the trouble he has being officially dead. “Once I was travelling from Ibagué to Medellín and was stopped at a roadblock. the police arrested me, handcuffed me, searched me and kept me locked inside a police van for three hours, while I had to explain I am not a fraud. These kind of things happened several times,” he tells angrily.This year, tired of trying to convince the world he was alive, Benítez took the bull by the horns and went after the records and the death certificate of the real murder victim, José de Jésus Martínez Castañeda.Only a few days ago he received the documents, making it able to clear up the mystery with authorities. Within a month, depending on the speed of the Colombian authorities, Jaime Darío Benítez (ID-number 70.119.177) may be officially alive again, putting an end to almost twelve years of non-existence.
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