I’m a Colombian documentary photographer borned in Bucaramanga (COL). My work is focused on exploring and understanding the social dynamics that make us humans or otherwise make us lose humanity. Since I was a boy I’ve always dreamt to be a...
“On October 8th 2006, First Sergeant Raúl Antonio Carvajal Londoño was discharged in apparent combat with the guerrilla”, thats the information provided by the National Army about the decease of Mr. Raúl Carvajal Perez’s son. Nevertheless, behind this death lays a plot with some chapters left to find. Days before his demise, Sergeant Carvajal called his father to tell him that he had a new granddaughter which he would bring to him on December to introduce her. This was not the only thing the Sergeant revealed, though; he also said that he wanted to leave the Army, since “things were getting ugly”. According to Mr. Raúl, the First Sergeant and his companions were told to kill two peasants and make them appear as death in combat guerrilla soldiers; he didn’t want to commit such crime and, for that reason, his father says, he would have been killed. Carvajal Pérez, father to the death Sergeant, started by his own means a research about the events of that 8th of October of 2006. What he had found along that road has been a supposed “lies crossing”. There’s no clarity in the statements given by his fellow soldiers and the one given by the Army about the crash with the guerrilla, do not match at all with the one given by municipal authorities of El Tarra, North Santander. Personality and National Police certify that there was no irregular happening at the zone in said date.
According to the report submitted by Lieutenant Dimir Yamith Pardo Peña, who was unit Destructor Uno’s commander, it all happened “in the development of operation SERPIENTE, that started on September 28 of 2006, where unit DESTRUCTOR UNO participated, which is added to the Second Division, conforming the divisionary action force” and “it was developed under the operational command of Second Division’s commander and the thirty brigade in jurisdiction of the municipality of El Tarra”. Pardo Peña manifests in his report that in October the 8th of 2006, said unit carried a combat with Farc’s mobile column Arturo Ruiz.
A fight that, as the Lieutenant says, First Sergeant Raúl Antonio Carvajal Londoño died. Said report contradicts the manifest of Mayor Pedro Miguel Mendoza Álvarez, El Tarra’s police station commander, who said that there took place no alteration of public order between 5th and 12th of October of 2006 between the National Army and groups outside the law. Likewise, according to a statement of the Municipality Personality, there is no record to be found of any irregular situation on said dates. According to that, Mr. Raúl asks: did the National Army fake the combat? Up to this date, nobody has resolved his doubt, since despite several requests at judicial offices, neither the Prosecution Office nor the Attorney have started investigating. Legal Medicine determined that it is impossible to know with clarity what kind of weapon was used to kill Carvajal. According to their report, there are missing bones and in his cranial region parts of newspaper were found, which indicates that Sergeant’s body was manipulated.
A fight that doesn`t stop!
The struggle started by Raúl 8 years ago, has taken him to protest in different cities of Colombia. He got rid of his heritage to buy a van filled with posters allusive to his son’s death, denouncing the Government in charge at the time of the happenings. His family turned his back on him fearing retaliation. In sight of that, Raul decided to leave his home town and move to another city to protect his family and he continued his complaint throughout the country. He has exposed his case to different governmental and non governmental entities with the objective of finding an answer to his son’s death and recover a little of tranquility long ago lost. What happened that October 8th of 2006 took him, even, in an act of despair, to unearth his son’s remains in Montería and take them to Bogotá to leave then in Bolívar Square and ask for someone to give answers about what happened to Sergeant Carvajal.