“Surely there are more than 30,000,” Federico Andreu of the International Commission of Jurists, who was in Bogotá for an international seminar about forced disappearances.According to Andreu, the number is much higher than the official figures, because of a badly kept administration, especially in the rural areas of Colombia, but also because “society is saying: enough of this reality”.Gustavo Gallón, director of the Colombian Commission of Jurists, said between mid-2002 and 2007, 1,259 people “disappeared”. 97 percent the organization attributes to the armed forces and paramilitary groups and only 3 percent to the FARC and ELN.So far there have hardly been any convictions for the forced disappearances. Most crimes simply were never solved and most confessions were made under the Justice and Peace law, granting lower sentencing for cooperation with justice.Carlos Franco, director of the Presidential Program for Human Rights, stressed the government of President Álvaro Uribe has promoted the adoption of an intensified search to missing persons and adopted a plan to act against the crime. However, the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights called the application of the plan insufficient.According to Susan Lee of Amnesty International, people are still “disappearing” on a daily basis. “While the vast majority of Latin American countries have overcome this sad history, Colombia continue to be the only country where forced disappearance is a continuing and recurring event,” she adds.Demobilized paramilitary commanders and troops confessed no less than 1,009 mass graves, enabling authorities to find the remains of 1,996 missing persons.The prosecution told the BBC it is currently working on 16 disciplinary investigations of enforced disappearances, mostly against members of the National Army.
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