Pawns of War Print
Written by Laura Jung   
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 14:09

Pawns of War:
How Soacha, Colombia’s young men became victims of a

military war game.

When: Monday, September 27th -- 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Where: La Casa 3166 Mt. Pleasant Rd., NW, Washington, DC

On January 13 or 14, 2008 17 young men from Soacha, near Bogota, were kidnapped

and assassinated by government forces motivated by promises of bonus pay for each

guerrilla killed in combat in Colombia’s long-running war between insurgent and government forces. But they were not guerrilla fighters but rather they were hard working young men supporting their families.

Come hear from two amazing women personally touched by the 2008 disappearances and murders in Soacha. We invite you to come hear their stories of courage as they seek justice for these young men.


Flor Hilda Hernández is the mother of Elkin Gustavo Verano Hernández, one of the young men disappeared from his neighborhood in Soacha. He was a son and brother helping his family eke out a living. Ms. Hernandez is here to raise awareness about the tragedy that she and her community experienced.

Pilar Castillo has been working in the legal area of the human rights organization Asociación Minga, where she has represented victims in several cases of extrajudicial executions that have occurred in the Colombian regions of Cundinamarca and Putumayo. She has also represented the direct victims and next-of-kin in cases of forced disappearance, torture, personal injuries, homicides, and massacres. The extrajudicial execution of the 17 young men from Soacha is emblematic of these cases.

Sponsored by the Colombia Human Rights Committee (Washington, DC), School of the Americas Watch, Lutheran World Relief, U.S. Office on Colombia, the Movement for Peace in Colombia (New York), Colombia Vive (Boston), the Colombian human rights organization Asociación Minga, and the Corporación Centro de Atención Psicosocial.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 September 2010 14:52