El testigo vivo de la masacre de Las Brisas /
The living witness of the Las Brisas massacre
183x122 cm / 72x48 in
Archival pigment print
José Posso García
Joaquín Posso Ortega
Alfredo Posso García
Rafael Mercado García
Gabriel Mercado García
José Mercado García
Wilfrido Mercado Tapia
Manuel Yepes Mercado
Dalmiro Barrios Lobelo
Alexis Rojas Cantillo
Jorge Eliecer Tovar
Pedro Castellano Cuten
On Saturday, March 11, 2000, twelve peasant men were tortured and killed by the paramilitary group “Héroes de los Montes de María” (Heroes of Los Montes de María).
Ten years after the massacre, I was invited to the commemoration. On that long and narrow road towards Las Brisas, I heard for the first time about the tamarind tree.
“Under that tamarind tree they tortured and left several dead bodies,” I was told; and when we finally arrived at the place of the commemoration, a prairie surrounded by steep and bushy mountains, there I saw for the first time the tamarind tree.
During the commemoration, the tamarind tree was mentioned again and again in the stories told by these peasants who were displaced from this rural settlement. “Under the tamarind tree we played...there we met, we chatted...under the tamarind tree we got together with our neighbors from Pela el Ojo and the town of Mampuján...under that tamarind tree ...” and the stories continued.
The tamarind tree—a witness of life and death in this faraway rural settlement of los Montes de María.
Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Colombia, 2017