2023 Explanatory Reporting, Small Newsroom finalist

The country of massacres (El país de las masacres)

About the Project

“The country of massacres” is a multimedia that has its starting point in the construction of an exhaustive database of all the massacres that occurred in Colombia between 2010 and 2023, but that wants to go far beyond the numbers to offer a reflexive gaze and also to denounce a crime that, only between 2021 and 2022, left 630 victims. To achieve this, for a year and a half a team of 15 people worked on a series of in-depth reports and chronicles, analysis, illustration, comics, data, an interactive map and podcasts. In this work, the word is as important as the image: both expressions gravitate in the multimedia in a precise way and without artifice to portray as clearly as possible the horror of violence and also the dignity of the victims, so that the massacres do not become landscape. The journalists who worked on this multimedia traveled to seven of the most violent departments of the country (Cauca, Antioquia, Putumayo, Norte de Santander, Valle del Cauca, Arauca, Atlántico) and also toured Bogotá looking for clues, testimonies and, above all, traces of those who were killed in a state of defenselessness. It is also important to say that multimedia does not stop at the stories —which are the backbone of the work— but also focuses on judicial processes and impunity, as well as on the perpetrators and on the responsibilities of State officials, those who, in most cases, precisely end up ‘copping-out’.