Investigators of Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office found a number of
mass graves in the central Meta department where, according to some
locals, 1,150 corpses are buried.
The mass graves in the municipality of La Macarena will be thoroughly investigated by the Prosecution’s exhumation unit in March.
“We do not know if there are only 20, 100 or the 1,150 corpses that some of the gravediggers say they buried there between 2002 and 2005,” Nolberto Suarez of the Prosecutor General’s Office told press agency Reuters.
NGOs had alerted the authorities about the presence of mass graves, allegedly dug by the FARC.
La Macarena traditionally was a guerrilla stronghold until the army was able to drive out the guerrillas following failed peace talks with the government in 2002.
The bodies may be of both guerrillas, army soldiers and paramilitaries who were involved in the fighting in the region after the peace process collapsed, as well as civilians caught in the conflict.
Investigators found a number of skeletal remains in preliminary investigations of the site, but are hindered by continuous rebel activity in the region.
If the stories of the locals are true and there are as much as 1,150 corpses buried in La Macarena, it would be the biggest mass grave ever found in Colombia.
So far, investigators were able to exhume more than 1,900 bodies from several mass graves throughout the country.