Conflicts & War

“Search path” for Colombia, a walk through pain of enforced disappearance

Laia Mataix Gómez

Bogota, Aug 30 (EFE).- About 30 photographs placed in the parks of Bogotá and seven other Colombian cities, mark the passage of the “Search Path”, an exercise of reflection and awareness about the pain caused by forced disappearances in the context of the armed conflict.

In commemoration of the International Day for Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Unit for the Search of Disappeared Persons (UBPD) launched “Search Repairs,” a campaign that highlights the five years of work carried out by the entity born after the 2016 peace agreement with the Colombian Armed Revolutionary Forces.

The photographs in the Bicentennial Park show the work of the UBPD, from working with relatives and victims’ organizations to searching for information about possible burials.

The exhibition has two experience paths for visitors to experience first-hand the stories of people who disappeared during the Colombian conflict.


The first path is a “family album,” where photographs tell the story of the victims who they were, what they were like what they liked to do, their passions, etc.

The second is a “memory capsule,” where people can write messages to a missing person in envelopes with details of their life, if they liked music or if they were good at painting pictures under the premise that “they are not numbers, but people.”


“It is the first time that the UBPD shows its search process in an exhibition. It’ s a milestone after five years of unit management,” said to EFE Juan Diego Castro, head of the UBPD’s Knowledge Management Office.

He insists that the purpose of the exhibition is to “raise public awareness.”

The UBPD’s mission is to “seek and find the truth” about what happened to the more than 103,000 people who disappeared in the Colombian conflict.

“We cannot continue to make disappearances invisible,” he added.

“When you ask someone on the street if they know someone who disappeared in the conflict, almost all Colombians answer yes, since this phenomenon has affected all Colombian society,” mentioned Castro. EFE


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