Europe, Globe, United Kingdom

October, time for Mafapo Europa Tour

Former Colombian army chief charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the “False Positives” case. Many of the victims’ relatives demand truth  and justice. Two of them are visiting the United Kingdom and other European countries.


Yonatan Mosquera   


Between 2002 and 2010, more than 6,400 young people were kidnapped, tortured and killed by the Colombian army. They were passed off as guerrillas killed in combat. The victims of this human rights crime became known as “Falsos Positivos”.

On 30 August 2023, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) brought charges against former general and former army chief Mario Montoya and eight other military officers for war crimes and  crimes against humanity for the murder of 130 “False Positives” in the department of Antioquia, while demanding “rivers of blood” from his troops.

Jacqueline Castillo and Rubiela Giraldo, two representatives of Mafapo (Mothers of the  False Positives), a collective of women who have led a courageous 15-year struggle for truth and justice for their sons and brothers killed in the massacre of the “false positives”, will tour Europe for two months, debating these issues, denouncing the crime and loudly  demanding justice for their loved ones.

This historic tour, which begins on 12 October this year, will be known as the Mafapo Europa Tour.

The #MafapoEuropaTour starts in Germany, passes through Belgium, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, and ends in Italy, spanning ten countries in two months. A historic marathon in search of truth and justice.

About the speakers

Jacqueline Castillo Peña comes from a working-class family in  Bogotá and was the only one of seven siblings who was  able to complete a degree. She worked in the health sector as a laboratory technician and nurse for 34 years. In October 2008, her brother Jaime disappeared,  chewing candy or cleaning car windows at traffic lights. After some investigation, she learned that her brother had been forcibly disappeared by members of the Colombian army.

He was murdered and falsely declared as being a “guerrilla killed in combat”. His body was found in a mass grave with five other  innocent people.

This situation convinced Jacqueline that her brother’s case was not unique and that an organised campaign for truth and justice was needed. Together with other mothers of victims, they founded MAFAPO (Müer der Falschposi ven), a women’s collective dedicated to the struggle for truth and justice for the extrajudicially executed.

A struggle that earned them international awards as “women of peace” in 2012. In almost 15 years of struggle against the Colombian state, Jacqueline and the other women of MAFAPO have been subjected to death threats, public harassment by political figures, harassment by Colombian army generals and humiliation by a judicial system that denies  them truth and justice.

On 6 February 2008, Rubiela Giraldo ‘s son, Diego Armando, was  taken away from the city with the promise of a job and the hope of a better life. On 1 October of that same year,  she received the news that her son’s lifeless body had been found in a mass grave in Ocaña, in the north of the country.

Since then, Rubiela has joined the other MAFAPO women. The struggle for truth and justice has become her life’s goal. She will not give up  until everyone knows who gave the orders, until the systematic barbarism throughout the  country is resolved, until those responsible for their crimes are punished and until Colombia becomes a place where the army stops killing innocent civilians.

More information: Mafapo internacional: Email: Twitter @MafapoTMadres Falsos Positivos de Colombia: Twitter: @MafapoColombia. Facebook: @MafapoColombia. Instagram: @MafapoColombia.

(Photos: Mafapo)



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