Monday, December 10, 2018

Scenes From The Armed Conflict

A girl and her father, driven from their
homes by violence, carry away
their few belongings.
Jesús Abad Colorado is Colombia's most distinguished documentary photographer, particularly of the country's armed conflict. And it seems to me that his work lives up to the term 'documentation,' because he documents all parts of the conflict's tragedy and anguish.

Leftist guerrillas; right-wing paramilitaries; the regular military - all have committed terrible crimes, which Colorado documents impartially. Perhaps this characteristic is in his blood, as his family story carries scars dealt from all sides.

During Colombia's La Violencia period paramilitaries murdered his grandfather and a child. Colorado's grandmother stopped eating out of sadness and died a few months afterwards. In more recent times, one of his cousins was disappeared by the military, another cousin was kidnapped and murdered by the FARC guerrillas, and the guerrillas have kidnapped Colorado himself - twice.

An exhibition of Colorado's work, called Testigos, is on now in the Claustro de San Agustin in La Candelaria.

If you go by bike, however, be forewarned: Even tho the Claustro is part of the Universidad Nacional, whose campus is full of bicycles, the Claustro has no bike parking. You'll have to leave it in one of the commercial lots on Carrera 9.

Comedian and journalist Jaime Garzon, who was assassinated by right-wing groups working with the government.
The Convivir were legal organizations of rural residents which often turned into paramilitary organizations.
A crematorium with which the paramilitaries burned their victims.

A woman cries in her devastated town.

Investigators retrieve the remains of conflict victims.

Indigenous people displaced by violence.

A girl holds a photo of her murdered father.

A girl and her mother flee with the girl's beloved chicken.

A happy fighter. 

The interior of the San Augustin cloister.

Mourning a murdered relative.

Visitors in the Claustro San Augustin.

Excavating a mass grave.

A river polluted with oil from a pipeline bombed by guerrillas.

A displaced girl and a soldier.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours