The First Enforced Disappearance

Primera desaparición

The first case registered as an enforced disappearance in Colombia and recognized as a repressive method to eliminate political opponents of the regime, dates back to September 9, 1977, with the arrest and disappearance of Omaira Montoya Henao, a 30-year-old bacteriologist, three months pregnant and left-wing militant.

Faced with the pain, anguish and uncertainty of not knowing what was happening with their detained – disappeared loved ones, and faced with the questions of who took them, why were they taken, and above all, where were they, the families of the victims turned to government authorities in the hope of getting answers and with the confidence of the immediate return of their loved ones. On the contrary of what they hopes, they were received with  offensive and sarcastic treatment, which not only questioned the occurrence of the events, but also affected the dignity and reputation of the disappeared, assuming a total denial of the occurrence of this repressive practice in Colombia.