El Espectador, September 11, 2019

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

The remains of the six people who were murdered last September 1 will be buried in Santander de Quilichao y Suárez this Wednesday, September 11.

This Wednesday, the families and the community will say their last good-bye to the six victims of the massacre that took place last September 1 in the Municipality of Suárez (Norte del Cauca).

One of the victims was Karina García Sierra, the Liberal Party’s candidate for Mayor. Also murdered were Blanca Otilia Sierra, Karina’s mother; Héctor González, President of the Community Action Commission in the town (vereda) of Las Brisas; Aidé Tróchez, a representative of the Victims’ Group; Yeison Obando, candidate for the Council of the locality; and Lavedis Gómez, part of the mayoral candidate’s campaign.

The crime in question took place in the District (corregimiento) of La Betulia, when the candidate and her group were intercepted by armed men as they traveled in an armored vehicle. After gunfire that lasted some 20 minutes, the automobile was attacked with grenades, starting a fire that incinerated the bodies.

“The bodies were completely burned and only bones remain. A day after the tragedy, the authorities went and they found the remains of the other victims,” said Alonso Giraldo, the husband of Blanca Sierra.

Later on that Tuesday, September 10, the Forensic Medicine Agency delivered the remains and they were transferred to the Municipalities of Santander de Quilichao and Suárez.

Hernando Ramírez, the Mayor of Suárez, confirmed that the bodies had arrived at around 9 p.m. on the same day. “We will carry out a collective burial with the other three victims whose bodies the Forensic Medicine Agency turned over in Cali,” he said.

The funeral commenced this Wednesday at 11 a.m. There was a march from the Central Park to the Municipal Cemetery. There will also be a caravan transporting the bodies of Karina and her mother to Santander de Quilichao where they will be buried in the afternoon with a farewell ceremony.

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