We are a group of mothers, fathers, children, siblings, wives, families, friends, collectives and neighbors united in the same pain – a pain that pierces the soul, which has left an irreparable void and a terrible absence in each one of our families, and in our days.
We, like thousands in Medellín, are united by the pain of having lost a loved one because of an invisible border, because of territorial disputes, confrontations between criminal groups, femicides, homophobia, robberies, the corruption of institutions – because of power, its ideologies, its battles. Because yes, because no, and because perhaps.
Many of us have received a call from you, with encouraging promises, condolences, commitment to investigation: words ultimately not backed up by action. We do not want the families who go through this to continue being made victims of your media campaigns, of your online statements, or of your need for the limelight.
In the majority of our cases, investigations have not clarified the facts: impunity in cases of homicide has a percentage of approximately 76% in Medellín. Homicides have increased by 17% since 2016, and murders committed by criminal groups constitute a higher and higher proportion. Impunity sharpens our pain, re-victimizes us, and robs us of our hope for a peaceful city.
We are convinced that this war can not be fought with more war, that criminality is not fought just by pursuing hitmen and ringleaders, whom structures easily replace, but is instead fought with opportunities and opening the city to those who are in a position of vulnerability.
Our loved ones are neither a statistic nor an indicator: they are children, young people, men, women, mothers, fathers, artists, sportsmen, students, social leaders whom the city and the world has lost. But we are going to keep their memory alive, to stop violent deaths continuing to be normalized.
We will not forget your calls, nor your promises, nor your tweets – much less our loved ones. We demand justice and truth, we demand strategies and actions in the short, medium and long term, not for the management of your indicators but to generate change in this city, which bleeds every day and where justice continues to be a privilege of the few.
Claurida Patricia Correa, mother of Andrés Felipe Correa
Claudia Patricia Pérez, mother of Santiago Urrego Pérez
Pablo Pérez and Anny Zuluaga, parents of Juan José Pérez
Olga Ospina, mother of Mauricio Ospina
Daniel Suárez, No Copio Collective