PBI-Colombia accompanies 20th anniversary commemoration of deaths from bomb attack on church in Bojayá, Chocó

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On May 5, PBI-Colombia posted on Facebook:

“Twenty years have passed since the massacre in Bojayá (Bellavista), a municipality on the banks of the Atrato #Chocó and the scene of one of the most serious war crimes in Colombia. On May 2, 2002, the paramilitaries entrenched themselves behind the Bellavista church, full of civilians, and the Farc-EP guerrillas gave the order to launch a bomb that killed 79 people. The bodies were buried in a common grave, and after a long time, there was a massive displacement of the communities, who, abandoned by the State, had to leave the old town of Bellavista in turn.”

Reflecting different reports on the number of casualties, Semana also notes: “117 people died, including 47 children, out of a population of 1,100 inhabitants. That is, they had taken the lives of 10 percent of a humble and forgotten people. They also left 114 injured, 19 of them seriously.”

Former FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño also joined the commemoration. He tweeted: “It has been 20 years since the terrible massacre committed by the disappeared FARC-EP in Bojayá. On these atrocious facts we feel shame and deep pain for having martyred our people.”

France 24 also reports:

“The violence has not disappeared in Bojayá. The Colombian Ombudsman’s Office has issued three alerts in recent years. In these, it warns of the risk of violations of the human rights of black communities and indigenous peoples of that municipality. Currently, the Medio Atrato subregion is being traversed by the expansive interests of the Guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC).”

The full post from PBI-Colombia can be read here.

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