Vinyl paint on MDF
175 x 300 cm
B062 - 0449
Ex- combatant of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - FARC-EP-. Joined at the age of 12, remained there for 12 years.
This is Caquetá and Putumayo.
They killed a family, the Penagos family. One of their children worked with the army. His dad and the other family members had nothing to do with that. Over there if it comes to be known that someone is working with the army or with the paramilitary groups, that someone immediately becomes your enemy. Then you have to kill him, because if you do not kill him, he will kill you.
The old man was coming down by the riverside with his children, but the son the guerrilla was looking for, had gone to Mocoa.
He had no idea they were waiting for him at the port. As he was coming down, they called out to him, he approached them, his guard down. He did not know the guerrilla was on another boat; they had orders to take him. And they did. They tied up his hands and his feet and they separated him from his children.
They kept on telling him he had to hand his son over, the one who worked with the army. That poor guy…. He kept on saying, “Do anything you want to me, kill me if you must, but please do not hurt my family.”
Three months went by and they remained strapped to a tree, the old man and his children, all of them tied up, but they were not together. The old man was skin and bones, all you could see was his bones and his beard.
Mom had the son who worked with the army come back. When he came back, the guerrilla took him away. They tied him up too, they put a rope around him. Mom cried and cried and she screamed and she shouted. It looked as though she was going to die… And her husband and kids on the other side.
That night a young woman who was with the guerrilla escaped with a hostage. She fled, and took him with her and handed him over to the army at Puerto Guzmàn.
At about 2:30 they realized what had happened. Lots of noise, all guerrilla members had to get ready to move…Since this girl had fled, you had to get your ass out of there.
Next morning, at about 5am, choppers showed up. They were bombing everything. Everyone ran for their lives, here and there and everywhere, even the prisoners who were tied up, they couldn’t leave them behind. Better to kill a hostage than to leave him alive. When you realize they are coming to get you, you have to kill the hostages, so it’s done, never spare their life. So we had to kill them.
This part around here is called Guasipanga. Indians live there. The natives knew that old man. They reproached Commander Norbey for doing what he had done…Then Norbay accused them of having given their position away to the army… and proceded to spray them with bullets, all of them…. That day more than 14 Indians were shot down. They had been drinking yagè all night.
On Friday they sent word to the family that they were going to release the old man and his family… they were told to come and get them. When they got there, they were dead.
I cried a lot while painting this story. While you are painting, you feel their presence, you feel they are by your side at that moment, that they are alive. It’s like you can talk to them, you re-live the experience in your memory. And there it is. You get the feeling that you are there with them again.
I felt a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders