Dig May Reveal Biggest Urban Mass Grave

Colombia begins work near slum later this month
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2015 3:51 PM CDT
Special forces soldiers march during a military parade in Bogota, Colombia.   (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

(Newser) – Some families of people who've gone missing in Colombia's decades-long civil may soon get some closure: Authorities plan to begin digging up what might be the "biggest urban mass grave" in in the world, reports Reuters. It's located inside a Medellin slum called Comuna 13. Over the years, paramilitary leaders have told prosecutors about how scores of bodies were dumped in the landfill there. Human rights groups think at least 300 bodies are there, while the government has a lower estimate of 90.

"Urban guerrillas, paramilitaries, and some sectors from government institutions—it is possible that they are responsible for what happened in Comuna 13," says an adviser to Medellin's mayor. The story notes that 6,000 bodies have previously been recovered from mass graves elsewhere, still just a fraction of the estimated 30,000 people "disappeared" in the conflict going back a half-century.

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