A Colombian documentary about the Palace of Justice siege will have its television premier on the Discovery Channel Sunday.
“La Toma,” by Colombian Miguel Salazar and South African Angus Gibson, attempts to account for people who went missing after the 1985 siege, in which more than 100 people died in an army attempt to retake the palace from M-19 guerrillas.
“For us it was important to give a voice to the victims,” ??says Salazar. “Society should understand everything that has happened, only knowing the truth can achieve true reconciliation.”
On November 6, 1985 the army was called in after members of the now-defunct urban guerrilla group M-19 took over the Palace of Justice. The ensuing battle killed 11 of the 25 justices, all 35 M-19 members, 48 soldiers and some workers.
The bodies of 11 people that were in the building were never found and it’s alleged they were tortured and killed by the army. Testimonies shown in the film claim some of them left the palace alive.
Only one person — Army Colonel Alfonso Plazas — has ever been convicted in relation to the siege. Plazas was sentenced to 30 years in 2010 for his role in the forced disappearances.
The film will air on the Discovery Channel Sunday March 18 at 9pm.