Voices of the victims: Gloria Navarro Amaya

With the Stop Blood Coal campaign, PAX is committed to the tens of thousands of victims of paramilitary violence in the Colombian mining region of Cesar. We support these victims in their search for truth and reconciliation and push mining companies to take their responsibility and contribute to actual remedy for the victims.

The story of Gloria Navarro Amaya

Gloria Navarro Amaya Photo © Ronald de Hommel / PAX

My husband managed the El Diamante hacienda in Los Brasiles. We lived there with the entire family (6 children), my husband’s brother and several of his sons.

At half past four in the morning of 8 September 2000 a group of armed men arrived at the hacienda. The men were already at work, and busy with the milking and so on. I was in town taking the youngest children to school. The men were driven together and murdered. One nephew was left alive.

On that day I lost my husband and two sons. My brother-in-law and three of his sons were also killed. I never went back to the finca after we collected the bodies for burial.

I went with the remaining children to live in San Diego, but after a year we were threatened there. My seven-year-old son came home crying: they are going to murder us. The next day we fled to Bucaramanga, where I stayed for five years. I got by with housework, and a woman friend was an incredible help with the children, and made sure they got through school.

In 2007 I decided to return here. I still worry sometimes, but this is my home.

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