While more than 13,000 people officially reported missing in Bogota, public outrage in Colombia’s capital is limited, according to a senior government official.
Senior Advisor for Victims’ Rights, Peace and Reconciliation, Ana Teresa Bernal, advocated for increased public awareness for the disappeared victims and their families, according to the newspaper El Espectador on Wednesday.
“I have not seen a great protest of families of the missing to help find them,” El Espectador quoted Bernal as saying.
According to the Single Registry of Victims in Bogota, there have been 13,238 missing persons from 1985 through May 1st of this year.
It is not certain whether Bogota’s missing persons were forcibly disappeared or voluntarily disappeared, for example to avoid paying child support or pending debts.
According to a local police comment made in 2012, 90% of reported disappearances in Colombia’s capital have proven to be a false alarm in recent years.
However, according to the United Nations, the state is the perpetrators of more than a quarter of forced disappearances in the country, making it not the most reliable source of information.
Throughout the whole of Colombia, more than 75,000 people are missing, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Armed conflict, natural disasters, and quarrels are some of the reasons why thousands of families are searching for their lost ones, the international organization Red Cross reported in 2014.
However, according to a OCHA report, 25,000 of the disappearances are directly caused by the armed conflict.
97000 disappeared in Colombia, 70000 still missing: Red Cross