More than 75,000 people in Colombia are feared dead after having disappeared during the 50-year-old conflict. The majority of these disappearances have been registered in departments with densely populated cities.
While an unknown percentage of disappeared persons goes missing to avoid debt collectors, parental responsibility, or — in the case of minors — to run away from home, the number of forcibly disappeared people is Colombia in mind-boggling.
According to the National Center for Historic Memory (CNMH), 60,630 Colombians were forcibly disappeared between 1970 and 2015 and are presumed dead.
The study’s results show a significant higher number of forcibly disappeared than the government’s United Victims Registry (RUV), which registered 46,512 forcibly disappeared persons between 1958 and November 2016.
Forced disappearances per year
The CNMH study showed that in a staggering 51.4% of the cases of forced displacement no culprit was ever established.
In the cases in which an alleged perpetrator has been determined, the majority was committed by paramilitary groups and AUC successor groups, both known to have collaborated with the security forces, politicians and businesses.
Presumed perpetrators of forced disappearance
Registered disappearances (October 2015)
Valle del Cauca
Norte de Santander
San Andres y Providencia
If you look at the number of disappeared per 100,000 inhabitants, the hardest hit are the communities southeast of the Andes.