"Our struggle will continue until the last kidnapped and disappeared one appears." -Madres De La Candelaria
Madres De La Candelaria are an assembly of 150 Mothers whose sons, daughters, and loved ones have mysteriously disappeared as a result of the drug war. Formed in 1999, they gather every Wednesday at noon in front of the Candelaria Church in Medellin, in an action to raise awareness of these kidnappings and demand the return of the loved ones. Most have been missing for many years but the Mothers have hope and pray faithfully for their safe return as well as an end to this gruesome war. On November 27, 2006 they were granted the National Peace Prize. The Mothers say it is just the beginning of the work that lies ahead of them.
Amparo, one of the lead organizers of the Mothers, chants into the megaphone: "Los llevaron vivos, que los regresen vivos." ("They were taken alive, they must be returned alive."
The Mother of a disappeared son. She only began crying when she shared how her husband's health was failing as a result of the trauma of his missing son.
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Photos by Michelle Gutierrez taken for The Annual Women's Report published by Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR)