Monday, 1 June 2009

Colombia: Photos of Victims' Belongings

This is a humble pair of socks. It belongs to a victim of Colombia's civil war.

Colombia's prosecutor is publishing photographs of clothes and belongings dug up during exhumations in an effort to identfy victims. The resulting images can be viewed on this site.* As the website itself warns, some of the images may be distressing. They are the remnants of people's lives snatched away from them.

This use of clothing is not unprecedented; the authorities in Peru held an exhibition of the belongings they found during the exhumations at Putis to try to name the bodies found. But I hadn't heard of this combination of the resources of photography and the internet before. It's a very interesting public documentation of the evidence and certainly a good way of standardising the process. Of course, many of the victims' families will not have easy internet access so a website can hardly be relied on to get full coverage, but this is a useful resource.

Sistema de Identificacion (Unidad Nacional de Fiscalias para la Justicia y la Paz)

*which, at least on my computer, does not work properly using Mozilla - try Internet Explorer instead

Thanks to Colombia Reports for drawing my attention to the site

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