Conversation before death

Jhon Jairo E.


Jhon Jairo E.

Ex-combatant of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia-AUC. He joined at 16 years old and remained there for a year and a half.

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It was the first time I had ever done this. I was shaking, and felt faint, I was pale, did not know what to do, whether to kill him, or get myself killed, I did not know what to do. I just looked and looked, mostly at the church, I looked at the cross, the cross on the church.

To do such a thing in front of the church… to kill a person right in front of the church, it’s like…. sinister, hazardous, bad omen,… That was in Bajo Cauca, (Antioquia).

It was the first time someone knelt before me. He looked frightened and sad. The one thing he did, was to take my hand and ask me not to kill him. I just looked at him and said. “It’s you, or me.”

I did not know what to do, I was looking behind me, at the guy giving the orders, that dude there, who was smoking a cigarette. He kept yelling, “Go ahead, do it, move…. we don’t have all day!”

When I did this painting, when I drew myself there, I felt some relief, I was about 19 years old then.

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Vinyl paint on MDF

100 x 140 cm

C001 - 0012


Execution Self-portrait Torture

Armed group: