PBI-Colombia accompanies Movement of Victims of State Crime (MOVICE) as DNA samples collected in search for the disappeared

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On March 22, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Today we accompanied @Movicecol Valle de Cauca and the women of #Buenaventura during the collection of DNA samples as part of the search for their loved ones. We accompany with the hope that serious crimes #DesapariciónForzada [forced disappearances] will be clarified so that they are not repeated.”

The Movement of Victims of State Crime (MOVICE) pursues strategies for truth, historical memory, reparations and non-repetition.

As noted on their website: “MOVICE is a movement in which organized groups of victims of State crime converge. From our experience we consider that state crimes are mainly those perpetrated by State agents, or by non-State agents (such as paramilitary groups) acting in complicity with, or whose crimes are tolerated by, the State.”

“We consider that the majority of the crimes against social and popular movements in Colombia are the result of political and economic interests. In this context, this sociopolitical and State violence was not born as a result of the internal armed conflict but is rather a root cause of the conflict.”

And it notes: “MOVICE has adopted a clear political posture that emerged from the crimes committed against the popular and social movement in Colombia, crimes that are the result of a social, political, financial and ideological intention promoted or allowed by the Colombian State and its agents and implemented by paramilitaries groups in favor of the interests of the dominant classes and transnational companies.”

The Attorney General’s Office in Colombia has stated that there were 84,330 victims who were still disappeared, 10,499 of whom were children.

It also told the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances in April 2021 that the remains of 7,732 individuals had been returned to the families of the victims.

It has also been reported of the 80,472 people forcibly disappeared between 1958 and 2018 (the approximate period of the armed conflict) of which 79,245 were reportedly civilians and only 1,221 were combatants.

A report produced by the National Centre of Historical Memory found that 220,000 Colombians had been killed in the war between 1958 and 2013.

More than 177,300 people, or 80 per cent of those killed, were civilians.

By 2018, the National Centre of Historical Memory stated that more than 260,000 people had died over the 50 years of armed conflict.

For more on PBI-Colombia’s accompaniment process of the MOVICE-Valle del Cauca chapter that began in 2017, please see Self-care as a political project.

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