Saturday, April 7, 2012

Painting the Poles on la Septima

The light poles along Ave. Septima in downtown Bogotá between Plaza Bolivar and Parque de la Independencia suddenly look much more colorful.

Grafiteros participating in a contest sponsored by the city and Rayuela Foundation, a human rights NGO, painted them. Many of the artworks are about killings of civilians, and in particular the False Positives scandal, in which some military units kidnapped and killed young men and disguised them as guerrilla fighters in order to receive time off or cash bonuses.

The paintings are to commorate the 'Day of the Victims,' set on April 9 to coincide with the 1948 assassination of populist politician Jorge Eliecer Gaitan.

I took lots of pictures today, because within a few days this new street art will likely be covered by advertising posters.

A human target. 
A man contemplates the memorial to populist politician Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, assassinated in 1948 at the corner of Seventh Ave. and Jimenez. 
'This space designated for the institutionalization of memory and the popular struggle.'
An acrobatic painter. 

Peace signs on La Septima. 

Your son (is a target).
The Bogotazo riots followed Gaitan's assassination.

Boom or bomb?
'Crimes of the state.'

'How many more?'

'Mother from Soacha.' Soacha is a poor district in south Bogotá. Several young men disappeared from there and  were discovered in mass graves near the Venezuelan border, labeled as guerrilla fighters. They were victims of the False Positives'scandal. 

Creating a moveable memorial for Gaitan. 

'Peace.' Behind it a family of supposed displaced people sit begging. I've seen them around for months, and they seem to have become 'professional displaced' people. Their children have a sad future. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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