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Silences that speak

As we arrived in the town, girls and boys were running animatedly towards the church where the school’s graduation ceremony was about to take place. A group of young people passed smiling in front of our cameras, and the whole community seemed happy about the celebration. It was hard to imagine that just two months earlier, this same town had been completely deserted. Its inhabitants had been forced to flee, but later decided to return.

We were part of a humanitarian mission that provides help and support to the communities that are affected by the armed conflict in Colombia. After much conversation, we built bonds of trust. The people received us kindly, and we offered some of the inhabitants the opportunity to record their testimonies.


On several occasions, silence was the answer.

At that moment we found, for the first time, expressions of concern. The people asked us what we wanted to talk about and explained that armed groups were present in that area and that, for their safety, some topics could not be mentioned. “The quieter, the better. This situation is very complex”, they told us.

One woman welcomed us into her home and agreed to tell us her story. She smiled as she told us about her family, but then, suddenly, her expression changed and her smile disappeared.  She saw something outside that worried her. Immediately, she decided to end the interview and suggested we should put the cameras away. She approached us and said in a low voice: "The armed men have just passed in front of the house."

A month after our visit we were informed that a new armed confrontation had broken out in the town. More fighting, deaths and threats began to occur. Once again, entire families were forced to leave the town. Today, once again, the town is silent.

Thanks to the generosity of the European Union, this community received food, health support, and information to promote good hygiene habits and continue with the education of boys and girls in the midst of the emergency.

You can continue helping communities that have been forced to remain silent and are affected by the armed conflict in Colombia.

Share and make this story visible.

The silence spoke louder than words.


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