For years, the nation of Colombia has experienced extreme violence enacted by leftist guerrillas, extreme right-wing paramilitary killers and rising neo-paramilitary groups formed after paramilitary groups were demobilized between 2003 and 2006. In their attempts to glean information from individuals, it is a common practice for goons from these groups to take the person to one of many “horror houses,” where they are tortured, dismembered and ghosted.
“Horror houses” of Medellin have thick walls and are mainly situated near a body of water, where the chopped up bodies are discarded. Luis Guillermo Pardo, president of the NGO C3 (a consultation group focusing on urban conflict), described, “There are 15 ‘horror houses’ in Comuna 10. They kill the person, dismembered them, the body is wrapped in plastic bags and thrown in streams or in the Medellin River.” The most alarming revelation of the “horror houses” was the dismemberment of two children in Comuna 8 in 2013. When these houses are discovered, it is common for them to be demolished.
“Wailing and crying” could be heard coming from abandoned wooden houses in the pacific coastal city of Buenaventura earlier this year. Residents were made aware of what was happening when body parts started washing ashore and the smell of decomposing flesh lingered in the air. A total of 15 bodies was discovered, one stuffed inside a storage container. In October, 26 members of Colombia’s largest criminal gang “Los Urabeños” (a neo-paramilitary outfit) were arrested. EVen after, two bodies washed ashore, indicating that the tortures and killings in “horror houses” was still alive and well.