Visual investigation technologies to unveil decades of armed conflict in Colombia


Bogota/Colombia –  A visual investigation by the Colombian Truth Commission and the British research agency Forensic Architecture reveals details of the forced disappearance in the retaking of the Palace of Justice, the dispossession and massacres in Urabá and the Nukak indigenous people.

The Truth Commission and Forensic Architecture have organized an exhibition dubbed “Traces of disappearance” at the Miguel Urrutia Art Museum (MAMU) in Bogotá to show the findings of the investigation.

The investigation contributes to rigorously assembling the puzzle of what happened on November 6th and 7th, 1985 in Bogotá, when the M19 guerrilla took over the Palace of Justice, the seat of the high courts of the country, and the Army led a bloody retake with tanks and fire. The result was more than 90 dead and at least 11 people missing.

FolcoZaffalon, a spokesman for the Truth Commission, explained that the Commission used digital modeling, video and image analysis, photogrammetry, and remote sensing technologies to process and synchronize more than 100 hours of video footage, hundreds of testimonies, and a wide multiplicity of other sources to explain the armed conflict, human rights violations and environmental impacts resulting into a one of a kind exhibition.

He said biologists, architects, artists, historians, journalists, alliances with civil organizations, prosecutors, experts; the villagers themselves who are the experts and the relatives of the victims of the Palace of Justice took part in this investigation.

“They are the ones who allowed us to research. That combination of actors makes it a pretty unique type of investigation.”

This exhibition will be open to the public until June 18 th , 2022 as a large number of visitors are expected to visit it.

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