“A Saturday of joy and a Sunday of sorrow” was what the paramilitaries promised.
That Saturday, the people of the neighbourhood went about their day. They shopped, they met friends, they enjoyed a day away from work.
Then came the sorrow.
Every so often you meet someone whose life sounds like it’s straight out of a movie.
Maria was one of those people.
Her name isn’t actually Maria. She’s asked us to call her that because giving her real identity may well be a death sentence.
Maria lives in Medellin, Colombia’s second city. While Colombia edges towards peace, the vicious paramilitary gangs remain and today fight for control of the country’s drugs trade.
These gangs control large parts of cities like Medellin. People like Maria are forced to live by their rules or pay horrific consequences.
Maria’s story is so incredible that not even her closest family members know the full details of what she lived through.
Look at the video and you’ll see why.