Friday, February 12, 2010

Counting the Uncounted

Our Human Rights team specializes in counting the uncounted: shining a light on the numbers of people who have disappeared or have died who often do not show up in official accounts. Just this week, we released a new study on the Colombian state of Casanare.

“History, victims, and the survivors need to know how many people have been killed and disappeared in Casanare,” said Tamy Guberek, the study's lead author and the Benetech Human Rights Program Latin America Coordinator. “We must determine how many victims of violence in Casanare have never been accounted for by any documentation project. This report provides invaluable estimates of the number of invisible victims. If we cannot name all the victims, at minimum, we can count them."

One of our findings was a pattern that we've seen in other conflicts: often, officially reported deaths go down while actual disappearances go up. Makes you think about what was going on, doesn't it?

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