Victims killed in 1985 Colombia Justice Palace battle identified
The victims — Cristina del Pilar Guarín Cortés, Lucy Amparo Oviedo and Luz Mary Portela León — were among 11 people who vanished when M-19 guerrillas captured the building on Nov. 6 and 7, 1985.
In the dramatic attack a small group of guerrillas held hundreds of lawyers, judges and Supreme Court justices hostage and demanded that the president be put on trial.
The government refused to bargain and soldiers surrounded the building. They eventually stormed the site with armored vehicles, and some 100 people died in the ensuing battle, including 11 magistrates.
The Colombia Justice Palace was gutted by fire and piles of court documents went up in flames.
The incident to this day remains highly controversial, notably on the point of whether or not deceased Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar financed the attack.
Of the three victims, two worked in the building cafeteria while the third was a frequent visitor.
The remains of two of the women were found in common graves at two Bogotá cemetaries, while Amparo Oviedo’s remains were found in “two boxes held at the Attorney General’s office.”
Separately, in September 2014, prosecutors identified the remains of two female M-19 rebel fighters who vanished in the fighting. Eleven people are still unaccounted for.
The M-19 guerrillas, formally known as the April 19 Movement, reached a peace agreement with the government in 1990. The mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, is a former M-19 member.
Currently there are two active guerrilla groups in Colombia: the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), with some 8,000 fighters, and the National Liberation Army (ELN), with some 2,500 fighters.
The FARC and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos have been engaged in peace talks in Cuba since November 2012. On Saturday they agreed on ways to search for and identify missing victims of the decades-long conflict.
You may be interested
Drug and alcohol detox programs in Costa RicaThe Tico Times - February 21, 2020
When it comes to drug and alcohol rehab, every individual is different. That’s why the Costa Rica Treatment Center, located…
New York City FC beats San Carlos in AlajuelaThe Tico Times - February 21, 2020
A hat trick from Brazilian-born Heber helped New York City FC defeat AD San Carlos, 5-3, in the CONCACAF Champions…
Migration from Central America to the US drops by 75%AFP and The Tico Times - February 20, 2020
Migration from the countries of northern Central America to the United States has been reduced by more than 75% since…