Forced disappearance is one of the most abominable crimes

It is necessary that Colombia does not forget about forced disappearance. The numbers reflect official statistics, which are inconsistent with each other, but even so, they show that we are facing a practice which has been massive and systematic, and which remains under almost absolute and complete impunity.

What endures in a family member of someone who was disappeared is the uncertainty of not knowing what happened to their loved one, and keeping up hope that they will see them one day or one day get news of their whereabouts. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has said that forced disappearance is one of the most abominable crimes because it violates multiple rights, but also because the victim’s family is submitted to torture.

With regards to forced disappearance, the most serious issue is the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice recently deciding in the Luis Alfonso Plazas Vega case, relating to the events at the Palace of Justice, that there needed to be direct evidence of his participation in the crimes.  What the Supreme Court has done is put a wall of impunity around forced disappearance, thereby favouring the perpetrators who are, in the vast majority, agents of the State or paramilitaries acting with the support of agents of the State.

Jorge Molano

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