Five Black teens murdered in Colombia show the country's disregard for Afro Colombians
In Colombia, those who suffer the most are the ethnic minorities of the country.
In Cali, a Colombian city in the Valle Del Cauca department that was put on display recently as five Black teenagers have been found brutally tortured and murdered.
The teenagers left their house on the morning of Aug. 11 to fly kites. They never came back. After their parents got worried and called the cops, their bodies were discovered that night.
All five teenagers had gunshots and stab wounds.
Sr.@IvanDuque he aquí una testigo que compromete de manera grave a miembros de la @PoliciaColombia y la vigilancia privada de los cañaduzales sobre la muerte de los 5 niños en Cali.
!Exigimos justicia y protección para la familia de las víctimas de inmediato! pic.twitter.com/bGtNsBeoKU
— Alexander López Maya (@AlexLopezMaya) August 14, 2020
Authorities have since announced that there is a reward for anyone who offers information leading to the arrest of the murderers, however they did not specify how much the reward was for.
“We will be firm and forceful, as we have always been against organizations dedicated to crime, in particular those dedicated to acts of murder,” said Cali Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Manuel Vasquez in a statement to 7news.
However, the murder displays something greater: those who feel violence most in Colombia are ethnic minorities. It also shows the faults in the peace treaty signed by ex-president Juan Manuel Santos in 2016 with FARC.
After 50 years of conflict— Of war, of brutal murders, still, during a global pandemic, the violence does not subside.
On Aug. 13, two days after the five children were murdered, a grenade was launched at the Llano Verde police station that injured 15 people and left one dead.
Though Cali Mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina warned against connecting the two violent acts, he also said “neither can we rule out that hypothesi.”
Regardless, it is scary and worrisome for Cali residents.
Unfortunately, these communities are also home to Black and Indegenous Colombians that are the main victims in the never-ending political war.
Those who are displaced most are Afro-Colombians who live on Colombia’s pacific coast. Though the treaty was signed, the war persists between the rebel groups, paramilitaries and the Colombian military.
The Peace deal was supposed to end 50 years of suffering that killed over 262,000 people and displaced 7 million..
The little success the government’s had was 8,000 rebels handing over their weapons in 2017.
Since then, 196 former FARC members were murdered, and the FARC has yet to stop activities such as extortion, kidnapping, and the drug trade.
Colombian President Iván Duque said on Aug. 12 that it was a priority to investigate the killings and ordered the defense minister to do so.
But little justice will be found unless investigators actually listen to the communities most affected.
“Peace is not possible without listening to the communities most affected by violence,” said Mario Morena, a spokesperson for the Washington Office on Latin America. “For years, the Colombian government has faltered in its efforts to implement the 2016 peace accords. It continues to fail in establishing state presence in areas dominated by armed actors. Nowhere is that failure more evident than in Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities, who have suffered far too many tragedies like the one in Llano Verde.”
Unfortunately, after last week’s occurrences, it’s clear that the country has everything but peace.