Podcast: Medellín’s Missing Bodies

Oct 29, 2015
9:00 AM
Medellín, the second-largest city in Colombia (jduquetr)

Medellín, the second-largest city in Colombia (seth pipkin)

As the people of Colombia wait to see if Pres. Juan Manuel Santos and the Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia reach a peace deal that will bring an end to one of the world’s oldest conflicts, many are still hoping to discover the whereabouts of the over 90,000 Colombians who have gone missing during the half-century of war.

Journalist Jessica Diaz-Hurtado talks to a woman looking for her husband in the most recent episode of Latin American Radio Dispatch, a podcast produced by the Latin American News Dispatch.

Medellín, like many towns in Colombia, is a city of two different narratives: one of innovation and bustling, and the other of kidnappings, military operations, and massacres.

Comuna 13, the most violent neighborhood of the city, is a part of the second narrative. Rebels, paramilitaries and the army fought a high-intensity war in the shantytown until recently. Families were forced to leave their homes; women were raped; young men tortured, dismembered, and disappeared. There dead bodies were usually thrown at La Escombrera, a 37-acre dump that symbolizes the cruelty of Medellín’s violence.