Thursday, May 2, 2013

Eleven Years After Bojayá

Today, this man at the entrance to the National University was using this banner to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the terrible massacre of Bojayá.

On May 2, 2002 FARC guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries were fighting over the poor, AfroColombian town. The paramilitaries had positioned themselves around the town's church - despite the fact that about 500 civilians had taken refuge inside and near the church. A guerrilla cylinder bomb smashed thru the church's roof and exploded on the altar, killing about 100 people, many of them children, and injuring about 100 more.

While the guerrillas carry the principle responsibility for the massacre, the paramilitaries were also considered responsible for endangering the civilian population, as were also the Colombian government and mlitary for not taking measures to prevent the violence.

Ruins of Bojayá's church, where about
100 civilians were killed. (Photo: El Espectador)
As with so many other tragedies in Colombia's armed conflict, this one forces us ask how the perpetrators are to be dealt with in any FARC-government peace treaty. Would it be tolerable for the guilty to go unpunished, or - even more unthinkable - go into politics?

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Stuart Oswald said...

Give them amnesty.

Miguel said...

Sure, forgive and forget. After all, it was an honest mistake.


Stuart Oswald said...

Never mind the victims, they are gone now. Anything so that all parties promise not to let it happen again.