The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Colombia launched its “Disappeared: the Right to Know” campaign Saturday to draw attention to the more than 90,000 cases of forced disappearances that have occurred during Colombia’s more than half-century armed conflict.
As part of the International Day of the Disappeared, which took place on Saturday August 30, the ICRC presented in Bogota “Disappeared: the Right to Know,” which aims to raise awareness and support the families dealing with the forced disappearance of a loved one, according an official statement from the Red Cross.
“The problem of disappearances in Colombia is as widespread as it is silent,” said Jordi Raich, head of the ICRC delegation in Colombia.
“The uncertainty and suffering of the families in not knowing the whereabouts of their loved ones is unacceptable. Despite State efforts to address this phenomenon, it is necessary to further strengthen the institutional mechanisms,” said Raich.
Between August and November, the ICRC will organize events and lectures at public institutions and universities in more than 40 cities across Colombia to build solidarity and public understanding about the reality of the situation.
“This campaign is an invitation to citizens and institutions that can improve the situation of families to be in solidarity with them and act to change things,” said ICRC adviser Nathalie Antolin.
One person disappears in Colombia every two days
A report released by the National Center for Historical Memory (NCMH) in early 2014 revealed that more than 700 forced disappearances have occurred in Colombia over the last four years, averaging to approximately one person every two days.
The investigation further revealed that of the 90,000 people that have disappeared in Colombia over the last 40 years, more than 20,000 of those cases involved State agents.
- Colombia: lanzamiento de la campaña “Desaparecidos. El derecho a saber” (ICRC)
- Basta Ya! (NCMH report)