Comments, Human Rights, In Focus, Politics

 Murder of innocents: 15 years without knowing who gave the order

The struggle of the Mothers of Soacha (Mafapo Colombia) has notable similarities and differences with that of the Mothers (grandmothers, already) of the Plaza de Mayo (Argentina).


Germán Ayala Osorio


The former have been waiting for 15 years for an answer to a question they are asking the state and its justice apparatus: “Who gave the order,” in reference to the fatal victims of false positives.

In the face of the sepulchral silence, millions of Colombians, examining the evidence provided by courageous journalists who set themselves the task of uncovering the identity of the material authors of the lurid events, listening to those who appeared before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace – Bogotá – JEP and establishing logical connections, have already answered the question: the order was given by HIM.

If there is already an answer that has become socially accepted truth, then what is missing? The justice system, including the SJP, must point the finger of direct responsibility at those who, from the highest levels of state power, encouraged the military to commit these state crimes.

Meanwhile, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo continue to struggle in front of the Casa Rosada (presidential palace) to find out the whereabouts of the children taken from them and the murder of many others during the dictatorship of Jorge Videla (1976-1983). Their struggle has been going on for more than 40 years.

The Mothers of Soacha are still waiting for explanations from the state for this systematic practice, linked to an institutional military policy, of assassinating civilians (young people from the slums) to pass them off as guerrillas killed in combat with the national army.

In both cases, the truth is a spiritual relief and a moral triumph for the relatives of the victims of these practices, which in both Argentina and Colombia should be qualified as state terrorism.

Argentinian cinema has given an account of what happened. Recently, the film Argentina 1985, partly depicts what happened on Gaucho soil during the opprobrious military dictatorship. Meanwhile, in Colombia, documentaries are accumulating that explain what happened in the hemisphere’s oldest democracy.

The “Faces of Horror” is one of those audiovisual works that contribute to the construction of a narrative that leads to a single conclusion: we have built, by action or omission, a murderous state and a society with relative solidarity.

The Truth Commission’s series “Making the Invisible Visible” adds to this work of memory. “There was no time for sadness” also stands out. And many others.

On 16 April 2023, in the Central Park of Soacha (municipality of Colombia), the Mothers of many of the 6,402 victims of the false positives once again demanded an answer to the question that torments them: Who gave the order?

Although they themselves may be certain of the answer, like millions of other Colombians, they are still waiting for the judicial truth and the consequent political trial of the individual who gave the order. Very surely there will appear a banner, a hidden cry or a harangue with the name of the person most responsible. While the Mothers (grandmothers) of the Plaza de Mayo meet every Thursday to demand truth in front of the Casa Rosada, our Mothers of Soacha do so miles away from the Casa de Nariño, the place from where, very surely, someone with a cool head and a non-existent heart gave that fateful order.

*Germán Ayala Osorio: Social communicator, journalist and political scientist, author of the blog La otra tribuna, where this article was published.
(Translated by Cristina Popa – Email: Pixabay.

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