The Silent Scream



The forty million people living in Colombia have endured four decades of conflict involving leftist guerillas, paramilitary death squads, and the Colombian army. 40,000 lives have been lost and two million people displaced in the last decade alone.

Dostoevsky said, Compassion is the chief law of human existence. This is one man’s story of survival in war-torn Colombia. Marino Cordoba, a well-known community advocate, was forcibly displaced from his home as a result of illegal paramilitary actions. In the middle of a December night, the paramilitary death squads arrived with a list of human rights workers and community advocates. They went on a house-to-house hunt for their victims who were still asleep in their beds. Stripped of their clothes and dignity, many victims were dragged to the streets and paraded around the town square before they were massacred. The carnage intensified when the Colombian army arrived slaughtering many innocent civilians. The army defends the attack by claiming the paramilitary misinformed them that the town was under attack by leftist guerillas. Marino hid in a river for a terrifying three days before escaping to Bogotá.



Marino was in Los Angeles on a tour to promote the plight of his people. I heard him speak on a Saturday night. His story had everyone in the audience in tears. I asked permission to film him at his next speaking engagement. In 48 hours I organized a crew for the shoot. Please bear in mind that my DP was on location in Mexico at the time. My film crew consisted of hungry film students willing to work for pizza and cigarettes. To avoid talking heads, I utilized 12 hours of news footage a friend sent from Bogotá.


Production Team

Produced and Directed by
Mary Cuevas

Edited by
Pablo Ducoing

John Walker

Written by
Mary Cuevas

Anthony Guido

Translated by
Julia Graff

Still Photographer
Tracey Clark