Authorities confirm that a mass grave containing 66 bodies, including 25 children, has been found in the municipality of Granada in Colombia’s central Meta department, according to Colombian NGO the Collectivo de Abogados.
The Justice and Peace Unit of the Prosecutor General’s office inspected the site at the request of congressman Ivan Cepeda, who raised the issue during debates in the House and Senate in August.
Cepeda witnessed the exhumation of the bodies and said he was concerned to see that a high number of the corpses were children, and that many seemed to have died from a bombing attack.
The people were allegedly killed in retaliatory raids by the army following guerrilla attacks in the municipalities of Puerto Rico and Puerto Lleras in July 1999.
Cepeda said that another 412 unidentified bodies were buried in 182 graves and 110 tombs in the cemetery. “This represents a total of 478 unidentified bodies in Granada [cemetery], according to figures I reported the Justice and Peace,” said the representative.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) expressed concern in September that a graveyard located in La Macarena, also in the Meta department, contained at least 446 unidentified bodies that were reported as guerrillas killed in combat with the armed forces.
In late September Colombian authorities uncovered a mass grave containing 32 bodies in the department of Antioquia.