Réquiem NN | 2013

Foreign, Documentary
Colombian locals fish victims of violence out of the Magdalena River and treat the "No Names" with respect in a collective ritual to show resistance to the perpetrators.


The town of Puerto Berrío sits on a bend in Colombia's Magdalena River. For over 30 years, local townspeople have fished out the remains of victims of violence who have drifted downstream. Ordinarily, these unidentified corpses, known as NNs (No Names), would be destined for a mass grave. But for decades, local townspeople have adopted these bodies, giving them names, decorating their tombs and bringing them water, gifts and flowers. In exchange, it is believed that the living are awarded protection and special favors. Through this collective ritual, the people of Puerto Berrío say to the perpetrators of violence: In our community we don't allow your victims to disappear; we may not know who they were, but they will become a part of us.