Some 19,000 children are missing in Colombia, authorities said Wednesday. More than 4,000 unidentified remains of children have been found in mass graves and are being identified.
The identification process of the 4,210, which is aimed at “ending the pain and uncertainty” will be carried out by Colombian family welfare institute ICBF and the national coroner’s office.
“We know that to identify the bodies of these children is a major technical challenge that requires time and thoroughness, but we also know that it helps the families to mourn and to heal this deep wounds is a priceless achievement, both for them and for the country,” said Carlos Eduardo Valdes, director for the Institute of Forensic Science.
According to Valdes the remains found belong to victims of violence, who went missing, were displaced or ended up recruited by illegal armed groups involved in the country’s armed conflict.
ICBF director Adriana Gonzalez said that the identification process contributed to the right to truth for the victims of violence and ended the phase of uncertainty and guilt for thousand of families.
This identification process represents a new phase in the decade-long cooperation between ICBF and the coroner’s office that claim to provide “a solid contribution to the construction of historical memory and reconciliation.”
According to the coroner’s office public database on disappeared persons, 50,000 people are still registered missing.
FACT SHEET: Disappearances in Colombia
- ICBF y Medicina Legal identificarán restos óseos de 4.210 niños (El Tiempo)
- Identificarán los restos de más de 4.000 niños muertos en Colombia (El Colombiano)
- ICBF y Medicina Legal unen esfuerzos para identificar más de 4.000 restos óseos de niños, niñas y adolescentes? (Radio Santa Fe)
- En Colombia hay 19.000 niños desaparecidos (El Espectador)