ASFADDES: Association of families of detainees – disappeared persons

Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos- Desaparecidos ASFADDES

Faced with ruthlessness, nonresponse and denial, the families of the detainees – disappeared persons decided to join forces in the search for their loved ones, organizing themselves as the Association of families of detainees – disappeared persons ASFADDES. On February 4, 1983, they took the streets for the first time armed with the photos and the names of their loved ones written on banners. With the pain drawn-out of their throats, the shouted demanding the appearance, alive, of their loved ones and the trial and punishment of the guilty ones. The families were supported by a group of students who were also affected and were suffering because of the absence of their classmates.

Given the lack of political will of the Colombian State to search, investigate and punish those responsible for these practices, and in the absence of judicial tools recognizing forced disappearance as a crime, ASFADDES, took on the mission of criminalizing   forced disappearance, initiating a path of insistence and persistence to achieve it.