There has been little justice or accountability for the tens of thousands of forced disappearances in Colombia or for their families. ASFADDES, the Association for Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared, is a leading organization working to end the impunity surrounding kidnappings and murders of civilians in Colombia by paramilitaries and government security forces. We spoke with Javier Barrera Santa, a coordinator at the Medellín branch of ASFADDES. His brother was disappeared years ago and his remains were eventually found in a mass grave. Barrera was in Chicago to draw attention to victims, their families and his belief that U.S. military aid to Colombia helps enable these tragedies.
(photo: People demonstrate during a protest organized by activists and relatives of people allegedly disappeared by rebels, in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara))