Do you know the story behind this photo?
The canoe´s name is Joven Atalaya. The waters are from the Atrato, the river that runs all the way down the Uraba gulf flowing into the caribbean sea, serving as the natural boundary between Antioquia and Choco territories. The one holding the flat is Euclidio and the flag is not a flag, it is a sheet from one of the young missionaries of mother Laura´s order, the only outside people who came to help in the middle of the tragedy occured in Colombia on may 2th 2012: The Bojayá massacre.
The canoe is heading from Vigía del fuerte (the small village standing on the Antioquia side of the Atrato river) to Bojayá carrying not only Euclidio and Jesús Abad, the graphic reporter author of this image. An image which, despite its beauty and severity on demanding peace and respect for those not taking part on the war, does not achieve to tell all the sorrow behind. The canoe is also carrying Aniceto who is looking for a safe place to bury her wife Ubertina violently took away from him four days after the Bojayá massacre when they were trying to reach its home town burned down to the ground… because in Colombia war is like that: it leaves not time or space for mourning death.
This photography is silent proof of the deep tragedy that has occur in Colombia, it reveals powerful moments that should remain in our memory to remember what cannot happen ever again . Even if today we are talking on a peace process and even if many of us are looking forward to a peaceful future it is necessary for Colombians to have the courage to look to the victims´ eyes, to have the strenght to listen to their stories because victims had been witness of a certain truth that has not been taking over this peace process. Uncomfortable trues that surely the Colombian government and the rebel armed forces would like to erase or ignore, uncomfortable trues that honest colombian people should not let to forget.