Mass grave found in southwest Colombia with remains of 62 people

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62 people

The Colombian attorney general’s office found in the southwestern part of the country a mass grave with the remains of some 62 people who might have been victims of paramilitary groups, media reported Saturday.

The discovery was made in a rural area of Olaya Herrera municipality in Nariño province, bordering on Ecuador, Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre said, without revealing when the bodies were found.

According to the attorney general, “13 of the remains have been identified”, but he added that according to a local authority, “there could be 62 people” buried there.

Montealegre said the bodies were being disinterred, a work in which the attorney general’s office, the Nariño provincial government, the Red Cross and the Legal Medicine Institute are taking part.

The attorney general’s office believes the remains belong to the people who disappeared between 2000 and 2005, not only in Nariño province but also in other regions of Colombia.

More than 31,000 members of paramilitary groups belonging to the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia, or AUC, demobilised in mid-2006 during peace talks with the government of then-President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010).

The Uribe government promoted, as the legal framework for the reinsertion of AUC members into society, the so-called Justice and Peace Law, enacted in 2005 and which established, among other measures, prison sentences of between five and eight years for those guilty of inhuman crimes.

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