During the 80’s and 90’s, the guerillas conducted a raid on La Virgen de Quipile in Cundinamarca, Colombia in order to obtain a strategic position that would benefit its war tactics by providing power over populations close to the big cities and control over the intermunicipal routes that connect them. Their arrival began in Viotá, another municipality in Cundinamarca, where fronts 42 of the Eastern Bloc of the FARC EP, led by the "Negro Antonio", took over the territory and carried out one of the largest forced conscriptions in the history of the war in Colombia.
In the following years, during the height of his political campaign, ex-president Álvaro Uribe Vélez made promises to eradicate the guerrillas at all costs. During his previous time as Governor of Antioquia, he defended the use of "Convivir", which were private security cooperatives that landowners use to counteract the control of the guerrillas. These class of paramilitary groups are currently under investigation for a staggering number of Human Rights violations. In 2003 in the Cundinamarca´s territory the Autodefensas Campesinas of the Casanare started to operate, led by "Martín Llanos" and his brother "Caballo". According to testimony of the community, this paramilitary organization had connections with the Batallón Colombia that was in La Mesa, which gave orders to the paramilitary group to use photographs to identify those who they deemed necessary to kidnap or murder.
Since its foundation La Virgen de Quipile has sustained the land with cultivation of sugar cane and the production of panela in the “trapiches”. This project, as a metaphor reflecting this sociopolitical context, is based on the journey of a panela block, from the hard labor of its production and the harsh reality that has been lived by the people of La Virgen, to its subsequent commercialization in the big city, to an eventual place in the homes of Bogotá, where there is no conscience about the bitter suffering of the region that produced it, only 80 km away from Bogotá.
Inspección de La Virgen de Quipile, Cundinamarca, Colombia, 2014 - 2016