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Tue Dec 30, 2014, 03:49 PM

The dump that holds the secrets of the disappeared

The dump that holds the secrets of the disappeared
29 December 2014 Last updated at 21:32 ET
By Linda Pressly
Medellin

Once the murder capital of the world, the Colombian city of Medellin, has been transformed into an attractive and vibrant city. But on the outskirts there is a dump where people say the truth lies buried - the bodies of dozens of people who were "disappeared" in years of bloody civil conflict.

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For many years, Comuna 13 was under the sway of left-wing guerrilla groups. The state had little influence here, but Operation Orion - launched just before Carol Vanesa disappeared - would change that.

“ They came in indiscriminately on the pretext of getting rid of the guerrillas”

"The state decided it had to take back control of Comuna 13," says Jenny Pearce, professor of Latin American politics at the University of Bradford.

"But the way they did it seems to have been in alliance with paramilitary groups. And the paramilitaries subsequently went in and 'disappeared' at least 200-300 people from the area. So the bodies at la escombrera are the victims of what can only be called a state crime."

Locals remember the operation and its aftermath as a period of "absolute terror".

"There were more than 1,000 men from the state's forces, two helicopters and more than 800 paramilitaries," says Jeihhco, the founder of a cultural centre in Comuna 13. "They came in indiscriminately on the pretext of getting rid of the guerrillas."

More:
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30573931

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