Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ten Years After the Bojayá Tragedy

Bojayá's destroyed church, in which 119 people died.
Photo: Victimas del Terrorismo
Ten years ago, as FARC guerrillas fought against paramilitaries for a small town in El Chocó, the women and children took refuge from bullets in the church.

Suddenly, a home-made FARC bomb launched landed on the church roof, killing 119 people and injuring more than 60. The victims, impoverished Afro-Colombians, were just the kind of people whom the guerrillas claim to be fighting for.

Bojayá was the worst atrocity in Colombia's half-century of armed conflict; but, tragically, it did not bring any shift in that conflict.

A decade on, the violence continues, particularly in rural regions, Bojayá is still devastated, and the guerrillas continue launching home-made bombs, despite condemnations by human rights organizations. Just two days ago, a FARC bomb killed a family in the town of Puerto Rico in Caquetá Department, El Tiempo reported.

Posters placed by Afro-Colombian demonstrators ask: 'Do you know where Bojayá is?'

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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