Nearly fourteen times as many people disappeared in Colombia over the last year than in 2003, according to government prosecutor data reported by W Radio. More than 90 percent of the 760 suspects are members of the military.
Colombia’s Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the disappearances over the last year of 1,015 people, including 82 women and 48 minors, reports the radio station. Of the 760 suspects, 685 are members of the country’s armed forces.
News reports did not provide a response by the Colombian government or armed forces.
The statistics do not include at least 46 young men who disappeared from the south of Bogotá earlier this year and were recently found in a mass grave in Norte de Santander, suspected victims of extrajudicial killings by the military.
While disappearances have grown in each of the past three years, this year’s figure is four times higher than a year ago, when 245 disappearances were registered, and thirteen times greater than 2005. In 2006, 122 disappearances were registered, while in 2005 there were 73.
Since 1985, some 25,000 Colombians have been reported disappeared and few have been recovered, according to statistics compiled by the Tribunal del Pueblo, or People’s Tribunal, and reported by renowned Colombian journalist Alfredo Molano Bravo.
Between 2002 and 2007 alone, 11,292 people have been killed or disappeared, including 955 extrajudicial murders, according to data compiled by the Tribunal.
The center, which is run by Argentinean Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, has charged the Colombian state with genocide, reports Spanish press agency EFE.