The only sign of life left behind was a dog napping in the corner. Not a piece of paper littering the floor, not one tee-shirt or toy astray in the house. No plates, no cups, no evidence of Monica and her two daughters. Bare concrete walls stand alone, perhaps even without fingerprints, ghostlike, a reminder to all. After the murder of a family, two more men were killed by guerrilla groups. With such brutal history of war in the region and the latest victims, Palomino ought to be declared a “red zone,” urged Monica. A community leader in education, recycling campaigns and most of all, peace, Monica responded to the tragic killings by organizing peace marches.
“The Freyles family – we are the victims of this violence.”
The first peace march stopped traffic as supporters gathered to literally paint the town. Newspapers around the country caught on. The governor and town representatives promised to show but in the end, couldn’t make it. Monica wanted to give them another chance. But the morning of the second march, she was nowhere to be found. The night before, on the phone, she was told to leave town. Leaving nothing behind, she fled with her two daughters.