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Colombian Mothers of False Positives Buried to Tell Their Story, and Publish First Photobook

Madres Terra

Raya Editorial and Santiago Escobar as Editor and Designer.

For the past seven years photographer Carlos Saavedra has photographed 15 of the Mothers of the False Positives, now interviewed, buried, and photographed.

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA, February 21, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- For the past seven years photographer Carlos Saavedra has photographed fifteen of the Mothers of the False Positives. The fifteen mothers were interviewed, buried, and photographed as part of a project titled Madres Terra that has been exhibited from Bogotá and New York to the busiest galleries in Europe. The portraits, along with the stories and personal archives of the mothers, make up this photobook, a collaboration with Sebastian Ramirez, an anthropologist from Princeton University, and MAFAPO: The Mothers of False Positives Collective of Soacha and Bogota. The photobook takes a journey through the lives of the mothers, compiling stories of their childhood, their families, their losses, and their ongoing struggles to safeguard the memory of their children and siblings.

The photobook launched on February 10 to great online sales with shipping worldwide. Check it out: https://vaki.co/es/vaki/FotolibroMadresTerra

The 15 mothers represented in this photobook are part of the first group of women who made the disappearances of their children public, and whose efforts resulted in the revelation of another dark facet of the war in Colombia: a true milestone in the country's history. Investigations by Human Rights Watch and the Attorney General's Office itself have revealed that the country's most important battalions, as well as a large part of their top commanders, participated in the systematic campaign of kidnapping and executions of civilians that sought to build a fictitious war record.

What are False Positives in Colombia?

The Colombian army's strategy to increase the official war record through the murder of civilians. The strategy consisted of convincing young men to leave their homes with promises of work, holding them and transporting them to remote locations, murdering them, and disguising them as guerrilla fighters. The women depicted in this photobook are part of the first group of women to make public the disappearances of their children, and whose efforts resulted in the revelation of another dark facet of the war in Colombia that has been a true milestone in the country's history. To date, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace has identified 6402 cases of the misnamed False Positives - strictly speaking the practice should be called extrajudicial executions, but we retain the misnomer in allusion to the constellation of cultural and historical symbols to which the practice is related and the various forms of resistance it has provoked. The mass murder of civilians has its origin in the perverse incentives created by the government of President Álvaro Uribe Vélez - when Juan Manuel Santos was Minister of Defense - to improve its war accounts. For each guerrilla killed in combat (a positive), the soldier responsible was paid nearly four million pesos, and was offered professional rewards such as vacation leave and promotions; commanders received recognition and increases in the resources allocated to their battalions; battalions that produced the most deaths were praised for their contributions to the war and rewarded. Investigations by Human Rights Watch and the Attorney General's Office itself have revealed that the country's most important battalions, as well as a large part of their top commanders, participated in the systematic campaign of kidnapping and executions of civilians that sought to pad a fictitious war record.

Who are the authors?

Carlos Saavedra: Award-winning Photographer, Colombian, born in 1987, He creates projects about the different stages of the human being, violence, trauma and the Colombian reality. He has experience working with non-profit organizations, editorial projects and photo archives. www.saavedravisual.com

Sebastián Ramírez: Anthropologist (PhD Princeton) and postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Health and Well-Being at the School of Public Policy and International Affairs. His academic research focuses on issues of victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, mental health, and the aesthetics of violence and resistance. His work has been published in numerous specialized journals.

MAFAPO: The Mothers of False Positives of Soacha and Bogotá collective is the organization created by the women featured in this book to shed light on events related to extrajudicial executions by the state and to advocate for justice and the memory of those killed. The collective has participated in numerous memory projects, and especially in artistic projects presented in various museums and galleries in Colombia and abroad.

Sebastián Ramírez
www.madresterra.org
+1 347-965-7152
Srtwo@princeton.edu