Las Mercedes Cemetery
Photo: The Spectator – José Vargas
More than 700 families who were victims of forced disappearance will meet on November 21 and 22 in Commune 13 of Medellín for the taking of DNA samples ordered by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) in the framework of identification of remains that were recovered in the Las Mercedes cemetery, in Dabeiba (Antioquia).
This, according to the JEP, will be the first phase of the day of comprehensive care and taking of biological samples for relatives of victims of the armed conflict in the capital of Antioquia, which is provided within the case that investigates transitional justice regarding the murders and forced disappearances in the Las Mercedes cemetery, which were perpetrated by members of the security forces between 1997 and 2007.
Read here: False positives: the extra criminal pattern that JEP is asked to investigate in Dabeiba
Prior to the identification, the JEP, in the middle of its investigation, with forensic experts years ago, recovered 49 people, of which eight have already been identified and handed over to their relatives with dignity. “This investigation corresponds to the first joint case carried out by the Chamber for the Recognition of Truth and Responsibility of the JEP, within case 03, which investigates false positives, and case 04, which prioritized the territorial situation of Urabá,” said the court. transitional.
In this case, the new day, according to the JEP, responds to the restorative actions that the Chamber adopted at the time, which, at the same time, charged 10 members of the Army as the most responsible for the events that occurred in Dabeiba. Although transitional justice has already identified the alleged perpetrators, the truth body also intends to investigate the homicides of people from outside the territory, who were taken under deceit from Medellín to obtain operational results.
In that order, for the Chamber it is important to carry out “genetic comparisons” in Medellín. In the investigation into the findings in the Las Mercedes cemetery, the transitional justice has established that people from other places are buried in that area. “The day that will take place in Medellín seeks to guarantee the rights of the victims. Particularly, respond to their requests to search for and locate their disappeared relatives or loved ones, as well as assist in any identification work carried out by the Institute of Legal Medicine, as acts of symbolic reparation,” explained the JEP.
In order to complete this work, the JEP has held meetings with the Medellín Mayor’s Office and the Institute of Legal Medicine. In the conferences that will be held in the capital of Antioquia, in which the Government and the Unit for Comprehensive Care and Reparation for Victims will also participate, the UN Verification Mission will also be present as observers and the OAS Mission to Support the Peace Process.
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